Paul Blake reviews Wednesday’s graded racing from Harlow, Hove, Monmore, and Doncaster.
Paul Clarke won a stunning five races on the morning card at Harlow on Wednesday. Kicking the action off, Whistleinthewind in the blue jacket, blew off the challenge of the orange jacketed Water Catcher in the first race, a 238m (D4) sprint. Showing some decent early, Clarke’s blue bitch led after the second bend and held on by 1/2 length in a time of 15.92.
Ballyanne Xpress overcame a slow start to win a bumpy sprint around the Harlow U-bend. Clarke’s consistent sprinter railed well and led after the first bend. Kennelmate, Headleys Kane, ran on strongly for second – despite being crowded at the first – prolonging his winless streak to 14 races.
United, running in the blue jacket, made it three wins on the card for Clarke in Race 7. A powerful surge around the bend in this (D3) gave the experienced campaigner a 2L advantage that he never relinquished.
The fastest time of the meeting over 415m belonged to Clarke’s consistent bitch, Mulrankin Bell, in Race 8. In the orange jacket, ‘Bell’ led on the run-up and was never headed despite Alberta Minnie running on strongly for Debbie Hurlock. The 7/4 favourite, Tornaroy Time, was slowly away and crowded second, effectively putting paid to her chances.
Race 12 belonged on Merseyside. Salahs Dream, running out of Trap 4, showed plenty of early to lead from halfway. Kop End Ox held on for second in the blue jacket, despite fading on the run-in and drifting into the fast finishing favourite, Total Lockdown. Paul Clarke’s fifth winner extends his lead at the top of the graded trainer standings with 188 winners already this year.
A hat-trick of winners in the last three races of the afternoon meeting helped Seamus Cahill to a four winner haul. Sharp by name and sharp by nature, a trio of Sharps obliged: Josh, Bobby and Teddy.
First, Sharp Josh won a competitive (A2) in Race 6 with the quickest time of the meeting (29.77 calculated). After pinging the lids from Trap 3, Josh soon led and made all. Whatever (S. Cahill) ran-on and got to within 1 1/4 lengths at the line.
Sharp Bobby won the 5:28 (A4) contest comfortably despite being baulked at the first. Cahill’s wide running black dog led third and won going away. It surely won’t be long before he is back in A3 company.
Pocket Baba found (A6) to her liking again in the 5:44 500m race. Wearing the black jacket, she absolutely pinged the lids and built a big enough lead to hold onto, despite the close attention of both Rogue Angel (11/4) and Gemini Ksenia (5/4F).
Sharp Teddy completed Seamus Cahill’s late hat-trick of wins in the lucky last. A determined run from the May19 black dog in the (A2) finale saw off the attention of the two fast finishers in the outside traps. Teddy is moving in the right direction again and may just be capable of winning another A2.
Patrick Curtin’s blue puppy dog, Ballymac Stryker, continued his improvement at Monmore on Wednesday afternoon. The Ballymac Cashout puppy out of Ballymac Diva recorded his fastest time on the 480m circuit to win the 4:38 (A4) with 2 lengths to spare. Destined for much better things, this puppy must first learn to trap better. Presently, he is too reliant on his blistering early pace and tight railing. He may get found out when he gets up to (A2) or is handed the blue jacket in (A3).
Curtin had a successful afternoon with four winners on the card. First, Final Shot rewarded favourite backers in the 2:07 (A9) with a dominant run from box 2. His calculated time of 29.35 was good enough to compete in A7 company, so expect to see this one competing in (A7) company sometime soon. Next, Greenhill Ben returned in the 2:18 (A7) at a big price. After Ballymac Stryker’s impressive run, the stage was set for Sail On Jimmy to complete the quadruple in the 4:58 blast around the 264m Monmore u-bend.
Swift Battery ran the quickest time of the meeting with a very tasty 28:51 (calculated) for Alan Jenkins.
Another exciting prospect is Richard Taberner’s puppy, Different Speed. The blue and white dog by Pestana out of Fast Dolly is improving sharply and won the (A7) meeting opener at Monmore in emphatic style. Clocking 29.03, a calculated time good enough to be competitive in A5 company, he took this by 5 1/4 lengths staying on.
The Wednesday evening meeting at Doncaster was a rewarding card for favourite backers with 7 of the 12 winners coming from the top line of the bookie’s boards. Lee Macmanus, Debbie Calvert, and Ken Bowman each had two winners apiece. Calvert’s Supra Star recorded the fastest time of the evening on the 450m circuit in (B4). The white and black bitch recorded 28.61 in Race 5, ducking down the inside to lead near the line from the long time leader, Whizzing Jet, who can count himself unlucky not to get off the mark in this grade. With Jumeirah Ranger over the line in third, Calvert achieved a 1-2-3 in the race.
Arguably the performance of the meeting came in the penultimate race. Quattro Katie left the field for dead in an exhilarating 16.95 around the Doncaster 275m sprint track. Ricky Overton’s black bitch made it a hat-trick of successive wins for the smart Laughil Blake/Coolronan Lotto offspring.