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Race Meeting Report - 28 June 2016

Tue, Jun 28, 2016

The afternoon started warm and sunny but by the end it was cold and wet. The going, however, was good and it was a day to remember for David Probert, who rode four winners, and supporters of the course regular Roy Rocket.

The first division of the six furlong handicap saw Titus Secret fail to repeat last week's course and distance win. He made his run from the rear of the field at the same time as Assertive Agent (6/1), and just inside the final furlong they hit the front together. On the latter David Probert hadn't had to plot such a wide course as his opponent and he kept on the stronger to score by half a length and give trainer Tony Carroll his first success of the afternoon.

The second division was delayed by the amusing antics of Nelson's Pride on the way to the start. She repeatedly refused to walk more than a few steps before coming to a halt. As for the race itself, it was the first time the Tony Carson-trained Curious Fox (14/1) had raced on turf and she appeared to benefit from the switch. David Probert drove her into a clear lead a furlong out, and though Essaka narrowed the deficit to a length and a quarter she was value for a bit more.

The favourite Hepplewhite led until well inside the final furlong of the 1m2f maiden. Then Godolphin's Henry Croft, who had been second most of the way, took over and looked sure to prevail until a late surge by Fashion Parade (8/1) swept her to the front a few strides before the line. A head was the winning distance. Charles Hills trained the filly and David Probert had his hat trick.

When Solveig's Song hit the front two out in the 1m2f handicap she looked like maintaining the 100% record of fillies and mares here this afternoon, but she wandered a little on the final climb to the line. This allowed Frantical (14/1), running on strongly with the help of first-time blinkers, to take it up in the last furlong. He hung on by a head and the pair finished ten lengths clear of the rest. Tony Carroll's second winner of the afternoon was ridden by George Downing.

The 1m4f handicap boiled up to a memorable climax. Going easily, Palisade took the lead over three furlongs out and Luke Morris soon booted him eight lengths ahead. But, to mounting excitement, the quadruple course winner Roy Rocket (3/1) could be seen making up ground inexorably and he collared the leader in the last few strides. A tremendous reception greeted John Egan when he rode the popular grey into the winner's enclosure, led in by his trainer John Berry.

Rhiain Ingram, who had to cajole the reluctant Nelson's Pride to the start earlier, enjoyed a much more satisfying ride with the victory of Duke Of North (6/1) for Epsom trainer Jim Boyle in the one mile handicap. Under hands and heels he emerged from the pack to poke his nose in front with about 75 yards to go. The enigmatic Bloodsweatandtears, who had to be loaded riderless backwards into the stalls and then have the blindfold applied while the others were loaded, finished fast alongside Castle Talbot but they missed out by half a length.

Andrea Atzeni was here for three rides and the last of them bore fruit. In a stirring finish to the 7f handicap he drove False Id (10/1) from well behind to pinch the lead from the front-running Marcle in the very last stride, with Bay Of St Malo only a neck away in third. Robert Eddery trained the short head winner.

The eighth and final race was over 5f. All seven runners had chances passing the two pole. Bahamian Sunrise was just denied here last week and did his utmost to remedy that today, making all until the last few strides when Noverre To Go (15/2) dashed past to get up by half a length. Hepworth Marble was hot on their heels in third. Ron Harris trained the winner, which completed David Probert's first ever four-timer. Richard Hughes was the last jockey to ride four winners in a day here, in August 2014.

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Jim Beavis