Review of Week 23rd – 29th June

Dodina ran at Carlisle in the five furlong 0-85 handicap sprint and Tom Eaves took the ride and they were drawn in stall four and Dodina sported the blinkers for the first time. As she left the stalls she was bumped by the horse on her outside and Tom took her back as the early leader set a scorching pace. Tom tucked Dodina against the rail towards the rear of the field. As the field took the slight right turn and turned into the home straight Dodina looked to be going nicely. As the field spread out across the track Tom moved Dodina into a challenging position and they began to make some headway. At this point the strangest thing happened, the jockey on Tom’s outside was hard at work on his mount and as he tried to bring his whip down it caught in Dodina’s reins. Tom was trying to pull Dodina away and the other jockey was pulling the other way to try and release his whip. Dodina’s momentum was stopped as the tussle between the two jockeys kept going for a good 50 yards. Eventually Tom won the battle and Dodina was free again but her chance had gone, Tom moved her away from the rival towards the rail and she kept on at the one pace to finish 6th. A most unfortunate incident that took away any chance the horse had of reaching the three places, on the plus side she seemed to act in the blinkers and they will provide a useful asset in the races to come.

Fazza also ran at Carlisle in the Carlisle Bell consolation race and Kevin Stott rode and took off 5 lbs. Unfortunately the draw had not been kind and they were drawn out in stall 16. From the stalls Fazza juts missed the break and as the field charged towards the first turn the pace was a strong one in this fiercely competitive handicap and Fazza was towards the rear of the field.  Fazza and Kevin had to sit and wait at the rear of the field but they appeared to be travelling nicely and as the field turned into the home straight with just over tow furlongs to run, the field spread right across the course as lots of jockeys looked to get a clear run. Fazza was forced virtually widest of all and he soon began to move forwards towards the leaders who were now bunching up. Up the hill Fazza continued to make progress but in the last 100 yards this extra effort and travelling the extra distance more than most runners took its toll and he couldn’t find that extra gear and had to settle for a midfield finish. Beaten only 6 lengths it was another good effort in difficult circumstances.

Frontline Phantom went to Newcastle for the one mile two furlong handicap and Joey Haynes rode taking 3 lbs off. From the stalls Joey jumped Frontline out quickly and they were shuffled back through the pack as the runners settled themselves. The pace did not seem that strong as many of the jockeys were having trouble settling their horses. As the field began to take the turn out of the back straight Joey had to push the horse along as he wasn’t travelling that well.  The field were well grouped up turning into the home straight and as the field begun the sprint for home Frontline was caught flat footed, Joey had to get to work at the horse. Two horses swept to the front and as Joey tried to manoeuvre Frontline into a challenging position they were blocked off by two horses in front of them. Joey had to pull and move Frontline around these horses, by this time his chance had gone and once in the clear he stayed on at the one pace finishing 6th. Unsaddling Joey said the ground was very quick and Frontline just didn’t give him the same feel as he did at Nottingham last week, whether it was because of the ground or the hose was just feeling the effects of three quick runs.

Sunrise Dance ran in the six furlong 0-70 handicap and Andrew Mullen took the ride. They were drawn in stall one on the far side of the course, and in all then races that had occurred over the previous two days racing down the centre of the course was the place to be. Breaking well from the stalls Sunrise Dance was quickly into her stride but the horse drawn next to her forced her to stay on the far side away from the main field that all raced up the centre of the course. Sunrise Dance and the other horse were well up with the pace for the first few furlongs but as the race entered its closing stages it was clear that Sunrise and the other horse whom she had gone past had no chance and were some way behind the main field. Andrew saw this and allowed Sunrise Dance to come home in her own time without being hard on her. Unsaddling Andrew said that he had no chance from the draw and couldn’t get across even to be competitive as the other horse kept him too far across. A disappointing effort but the horse can be forgiven this as the draw was a massive hindrance.

Piceno was due to run at Chester on Friday but due to the dry ground and the horse feeling a little sore he didn’t run, it was disappointing as by race time the ground had soften up, but it wasn’t worth risking the horse when not 100%, there will be plenty of other days for him.