Review of Week 5th October– 11th October
Sakhee’s Return was first up last week when he ran at Pontefract in the one mile handicap and David Allan rode on Monday afternoon. With limited races around Tim thought it was worth the chance of seeing if SR stayed the extra distance with a valuable prize on offer. It decided to rain for some of the morning around Pontefract and the ground had become loose which was another slight disadvantage to SR who loves quick ground. From the off David settled SR towards the rear of the field in this competitive handicap with plenty of unexposed three year olds in opposition. David was content with his position towards the back of the pack as the placings remained the same for much of the first half of the race. As the field began to make their way towards the bend that leads the field into the home straight David and SR made some nice headway between a couple of rivals and they were now sitting in behind the leaders and from this position they had every chance of getting into the placings. Up the hill towards the line in the last furlong and a half the three horse that had been at the head of affairs kicked for home and SR was caught for speed and although he stayed on well inside the final furlong his battle was with another horse for fourth place as the leaders had flown. SR stayed on at the same pace and at the line he had to settle for fifth place, well clear of the rest of the field. It was a very good race and there will be plenty of winners coming out of this race especially next year.
Tuesday saw us have two runners. Memphis Magic travelled north from his Lambourn base to run at Catterick, whilst Yeeoow made the opposite journey and headed south to run at Kempton Park. First up in the afternoon was Memphis Magic who ran in the two mile handicap and Graham Lee took the ride. Memphis Magic didn’t get the greatest of starts but Graham was keen for him to get a prominent position in the race and pushed him forwards towards the front of the pack. As the field made their way down the home straight for the first time and crossed the wining line with a circuit to go MM was towards the front half of the field but Graham was continually having to nudge and push away at MM to get him onto the bridle but you could see Graham was never happy with how the horses was travelling. As the field went down the far side of the course Graham’s urgings were becoming more vigorous and he was having to work harder as the race progressed. Rounding the turn with their chance gone, Graham eased off and allowed MM to canter down the home tight in his own time and they finished at the rear of the field.
Yeeoow went to Kempton in the evening and ran in the six furlong handicap and Dougie Costello rode. From his previous two wins at the track we knew that Yeeoow enjoys the surface. From the off there was plenty of pace and as the field made their way to the first turn Yeeoow was front rank with a horse either side of him and as they swept round the turn these horses slightly squeezed Yeeoow for room and Dougie allowed the horse to drop back into third place and tracked these two horses. Entering the home straight Yeeoow was still tracking the early leaders and was close up behind them when the eventually winner went by him and kicked for home putting distance between him and the chasing pack. At this point it looked like Yeeoow was struggling to get involved and would fade away. Howe haver to his great credit and with Dougie persistent inside the final furlong Yeeoow really put his head down and began to storm through the rest of the field and was passing rivals for fun, he stayed on in good fashion and claimed second place inside the last hundred yards. It was a great effort from Yeeoow who was untimately beaten by an unexposed three year old who had pounds in hand but it was really pleasing to see the horse stay on all the way and claim second place.
Thursday saw us have two runners up at Ayr. Carbutts Ridge was up first when he ran in the six furlong nursery and Joey Haynes rode. Down against the nearside rail CR slightly missed the break and was a little behind the leaders as the first furlongs passed but Joey soon had CR back in touch with the rest of the field as the field headed down the straight. Around three furlongs from the finish the pace of the race lifted significantly and many horses including CR were under some pressure and Joey was getting to work on the horse as he looked for a response to keep tabs with the leaders. Inside the final two furlongs Joey was pushing and having to give CR a smack with his whip to try and keep up with a couple of horses that had gone clear from the rest of the field. CR had no response to this and inside the final furlong with their chance gone Joey kept CR up to his work without being over hard on him.
Up next was Teds Brother who ran in the seven furlong handicap and Tom Marquand took the ride. Teds had been showing some of his old sparkle at home and it was hoped he would transfer this to the track. Howe haver Ayr has never been a track he has excelled at and the distance was probably a little short of his optimum. From the stalls opening TB was slightly squeezed for room and Tom had to take a pull and they dropped back towards the rear of the field. Having been tucked against the far side rail and with a wall of horse in front Tom switched TB off the rail and took the horse to the wide outside so TB had a clear run. TB began to make some headway two furlongs out and for a split second it looked like he might get involved in the finish howe haver inside the final hundred yards his effort petered out. It goes down as a slightly better effort and he may get competitive soon.
Last up for this week’s runners was Quiet Reflection who ran in the Group 3 Dubai Cornwallis Stakes over five furlongs at Newmarket. Graham Lee kept the ride after their fantastic win at Ayr and the bookmakers and punters thought QR had an excellent chance as she was sent off odds on in a race where she locked horns again with several of the horses that she beat at Ayr. From the stalls opening the pace being set was a frantic one and QR found herself towards the rear of the field in second last place. Graham had tucked QR in from the draw and they tracked the leaders that were spread across much of the track. QR and Graham seemed content in their position and after two furlongs Graham just had to shake the reigns at QR as there was no let-up in the strong pace up front. Just outside the two furlong mark Graham eased QR from behind the wall of runners and they had clear daylight in front of them as they began to make their move on the outside of the pack. Graham was still sitting motionless as QR began to pick off rivals one by one and hitting the final furlong many of the early pace setters were dropping away having gone off quick. At the furlong pole QR was asked the question by Graham and her response was immediate and she eased into the lead finding a different gear. QR in front now showed the same level of acceleration as she did at Ayr and went two lengths clear within a couple of strides. Her rival from Ayr came out of the pack to chase her again but QR was always in control and was pushed out to the line by Graham without having to resort to any persuaders from the whip. Crossing the line she had nearly three lengths to spare back to the second horse. A tremendous victory by the horse on national television and Graham upon being interviewed again waxed lyrical about the attitude and speed of our top class filly. A great victory and well done to all her owners and connections. There is plenty to dream about over the winter and the targets for next year at all the top tracks.