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Race Meeting Report - 22 August 2017

Tue, Aug 22, 2017

The local weather forecasters' promise of both warmth and sunshine this afternoon failed to materialise, though it brightened up late in the day. The going was good to soft, good in places. Nearly every race had an exciting finish. Fortunes changed dramatically in the closing stages of some, often to the benefit of the bookmakers.

Julia Feilden's Secret Strategy was 10/1 when betting began last night but was supported all the way into 13/8 favourite for the 5f handicap that opened the card at 2.00. The leaders went off quickly and though he was outpaced early on Hollie Doyle kept at him and he came through when the others faded to take over half a furlong out. He was well on top at the end, a length ahead of the habitual front-runner Monumental Man.

Today's commentator Tony "Enzo" Ennis was doubling up as the At The Races TV channel's on-course presenter today and the fact that a horse called Enzo was one of the quintet lining up for the one mile two-year-old maiden caused some amusement. Ed Walker's colt had finished last on his only start and was the 16/1 outsider. The other four were in line two out, set to fight out the finish but Liam Keniry conjured up a great run in the last furlong. He hit the front with about 50 yards to go for another last-to-first victory. The two Enzos posed for photographs in the winner's enclosure. Trogon was the half-length runner-up.

Next came a 1m4f handicap. Rianna Star fought off Overhaugh Street gamely on the far side, but charting a lone course against the stands rail was Nicola Currie on Kilim (16/1). Split by the width of the course, it was impossible to tell who was in front until the last few strides, when Kilim could be seen to have a half length advantage. This 15-race maiden filly is a stablemate of Roy Rocket at John Berry's Newmarket yard.

The 1m2f handicap went to American History (10/1), ridden by Hector Crouch and trained by William Muir. He led until two out when overtaken by the favourite Prosecution, only to rally well, and the pair were neck and neck approaching the winning post. The judge decided the prosecution had not succeeded, by a nose.

Bahamian Sunrise, who had never won over as far as 6f, made a gallant attempt to do so today. His front-running tactics nearly paid off but Luca Cumani's Buxted Dream (5/6 fav) had superior stamina and took the lead inside the final half furlong to score by a neck. His jockey Pat Cosgrave was determined to bag the much in demand stands rail. After four second places he's now won twice and can improve again.

The sun came out for the seven furlong maiden and, visored for the first time, Ocean Temptress (3/1) made all. She was very quickly into her stride and, leading the field into the straight, Pat Dobbs was able to get the stands rail and though it was hard work for them nothing else really got in a blow. Bella's Venture finished second, beaten almost four lengths. Though that margin is impressive bear in mind the winner had been beaten 14 times before. Unusually, all ten runners happened to be fillies.

A mile race for inexperienced apprentices wound up the day. Rock Icon (11/2), keen early, led after a quarter of a mile and his rider Josh Quinn was able to secure the stands rail. Buzz Lightyere, whose course form entitled him to be made odds on, joined him in the dip and may have headed him as they duelled up the hill. Rock Icon regained the initiative inside the final half furlong and won by a neck. The winner appreciated trainer Jo Hughes' decision to return to turf after three disappointments on the all-weather, and the application of a hood for the first time.

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Jim Beavis