Summer Family Fun Day at Haydock Park proved incredibly popular this afternoon. The sun was shining and eight competitive races kept the crowds entertained.
The day kicked off with the TRC Charity Raceday Maiden Stakes. As has been the trend with all maiden events at Haydock this season, the field was full of quality and the photo finish that it produced meant a highly exciting start to the meeting. Authorship, owned by Godolphin, trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni and ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, got home by a head, nailing the evens money favourite Disclaimer in the shadows of the post.
The first two both have entries in next year’s Epsom Derby, and although Sir Henry Cecil’s runner-up continues to go the right way and edge closer to a first career win, it was the winner who caught the eye most. He travelled well enough in the early stages but started to be pushed along early in the home straight. As Rhombus gave way, Disclaimer and Lightning Launch began to battle out in front. However, running green and lugging left with a furlong to go, De Sousa switched the eventual winner to the outside. The two year-old was now interested and flew inside the final half furlong to land the spoils at 9/1.
Close finishes were the order of the day, but the second race was most straight forward for Oddysey, who continued her fine form. She won the John Greaves & Derek Wilson Supports TRC Fillies’ Handicap by three lengths, coming away readily despite a slightly skewwhiff start.
For three year-olds only, the Lordship Stud Supports TRC Handicap was the feature race of the afternoon and it had attracted a strong field. Compton, who was placed at Royal Ascot before flopping on heavy ground at Newmarket, was top weight and travelled well into the race, leading inside the final furlong. Yet, the weight was to take its toll as Van Der Art and Jack Who’s He went past him in the closing stages. In a tight looking photo, Van Der Art just got up. She virtually refused to race at Ascot last time, but had previously been in good form. Her win would have done her confidence the world of good, whilst connections would have been delighted with the runner-up’s improvement.
Two gambles paid off in the two divisions of the Professional Footballers’ Association Supports TRC Handicap. In the first, Chiswick Bey opened at 15/2 and was as low as 7/2 at one point, before eventually returning at 4/1. He was always prominent and travelled strongly throughout, defying the fast finishing Mount Hollow by just under a length. Meanwhile, Another Try returned a comfortable winner at 5/1, having opened at 12/1. He travelled well and gave Alan Jarvis and Michael Murphy a well earned double.
Silvestre De Sousa completed a double of his own aboard The Lock Master in the Jockey Club Supports The Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre Handicap. The five year-old just held on from outsider Change The Subject, who made relentless late headway having spent most of the race in last place.
Daring Indian landed the final race with a withering late run and his jockey Richard Kingscote got away with dropping his whip in the closing stages. He beat long time leader Hawkeshead by the shortest of short heads, with favourite Cape Rising a further head back in third and paddock pick Blazing Field another head behind her.
Racing returns to Haydock tomorrow night for Ladies’ Evening. On Saturday, Haydock hosts the top-class Rose Of Lancaster Stakes, one of the feature days of the year.
Image courtesy of haydock-park.co.uk