Fromposttopillar delivered a breathtaking run, stepping up to six bends in the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic at Monmore on Saturday night, to cruise into next weekend’s semi-finals. However, there has been quite a strong reaction on social media to the Trap 1 allocation of middle/wide runner Havana Bale Out in Heat 2.
The first Heat paired the winners of the ARC Cesarewitch and the bet365 Hunt Cup, Cochise, and Havana Lover, respectively. Liz Mcnair’s, Havana Lover, got the upper hand without ever really shaking off Richard Rees’ strong running English Derby finalist. The third dog home, Hang on Mart, finished a further 3 lengths behind for Pete Harnden.
The decision to place middle to wide running Havana Bale Out in Trap 1 of the second heat has been questioned on social media, most notably by the affable ‘Gone to the Dogs’ podcast presenter Joe Andrews – on Twitter.
Andrews, co-owner of Brighton Belle and Regency finalist, Lively Lauren, running in Trap 4, was understandably aggrieved. “Thanks to [the organisers] from turning it into a comp we were looking forward to, to one we just hoped she had a clean race.”
Thankfully, both Lively Lauren and Low Pressure came through the race unscathed despite both of them having their hopes dashed at the first bend. Predictably, Havana Bale Out ran middle at the first bend causing threee authentic railers, Lively Lauren, Clairekeith Remy, and Low Pressure to crowd, allowing Havana Bale Out to have the run of the race. Jason Heath’s wide running Hopes Woofwoof kept up the chase to finish second by 1/2 length with Beatties Sparkle finishing third in the orange jacket.
At the time of writing, Monmore have not responded to Andrew’s on social media. Such is the depth of feeling, they might just be wise to keep their response out of the public domain.
Fromposttopillar dominated Heat Three and almost ‘posted’ the fastest time of the year so far over the 630m. The current 2023 record, held by Distant Emma, is only 4 spots quicker than Postie’s time on Friday night. However, based on calculated time, Liz and Rab Mcnair’s white and black superstar ran 11 spots faster than Distant Emma’s unadjusted 37.68 secs. The shift from four bends to six is an exciting one for Postie fans and sets up the mouthwatering prospect of a potential race against Space Jet further down the line. Seamus Cahill’s Droopys Clue stuck to his task well to qualify in second, alongside Droopys Service in third.
Distant Emma made hard work of qualifying in Heat Four. After missing the break, Barrie Draper’s black bitch found trouble at the first and sixth bend before qualifying behind Coonough Crow and Droopys By Amile in a messy race. Belinda Green’s derby finalist, Ninja Kerry, looks to have stepped up well to six bends. He led for most of this topsy-turvy race, before being clipped on the final bend and finishing sixth.
5/6 favourite, Warzone Tom, secured his place in the semi-finals after winning Heat Five comfortably. Lightfoot Falcon and Ballymac Archer finished second and third respectively.
In the final heat of the night, Havana Top Note made life difficult for himself. After being slow away and taking the long way round, he managed to finish third. Friday’s Eske took advantage of the slow start on the inner, for Ian Langford. After being quick away, the blue jacket was never headed. After finding trouble at the first, Teds Dexter booked the remaining semi-final birth, finishing second in the striped jacket behind Fridays Eske.
With Havana Lover, Havana Bale Out, Fromposttopillar, and Heat Five winner, Warzone Tom, all winning, Rab and Liz Mcnair must be fancying their chances of repeating their Hunt Cup 1-2-3 at Oxford earlier this year. And, with Hunt Cup finalist, Havana Top Note also qualifying in Heat 6, there might not be many out there foolish enough to bet against them.