The Racing Week That Was 22/3/20


Monday, we start at Kelso. There was a treble for Sean Quinlan with Bryden Boy, Crixus's Escape and Golan Cloud. At Southwell, there was a double for Byrony Frost with Silent Steps and Little Light. At Hereford, there was a winner for Rebecca Curtis and Richard Johnson with Wayfinder.


Tuesday, we start with the news that this would be the last day of racing in the Uk until the end of April. On the track at Taunton, there was a double for Sam Twiston-Davies with Muckamore and Bathiva. At Wetherby, Commodore Barry was on target for Kim Bailey. At Down Royal, there was a double for Gavin Cromwell with Demophon and Prospectus. The win for Prospectus was good news for our members as Prospectus 335 Down Royal was advised to our members (1.5pts win) at 4/1. At Wexford, there was another winner for Gavin Cromwell as Ujumpthelastuwin made it an across the card treble on the day for Cromwell.


Wednesday, Gordon Elliott has spoken of his disappointment at the cancellation of the Randox Health Grand National – but he still hopes his dual winner Tiger Roll can bid for a third success in the famous race next year. The cancellation of the Aintree Grand National meeting is a “huge blow” to an economy already struggling amid the coronavirus outbreak, a business chief has said. Grand National-winning trainer Ted Walsh is among those who are backing the decision to cancel this year’s renewal of the Aintree spectacular because of the coronavirus outbreak. Mark Johnston admits only time will tell what the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic will be for the racing industry, following the cancellation of all British meetings until the end of April. British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust has assured racing participants that every effort will be made to financially support those who work within the industry during the sport’s suspension. Officials at France Galop are already considering the possibility of having to reschedule this year’s Classics due to the coronavirus pandemic.


ThursdayFrankie Dettori has picked up the ride on American challenger Sir Winston in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Saturday weekChristophe Soumillon appears set to renew his association with Benbatl in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan. Tiger Roll may yet be a Grand National winner again this season – because Gordon Elliott’s dual Aintree hero features among the entries for next month’s Irish equivalent. British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust has promised a “determination” that his sport “will not be beaten” by the fixture-list shutdown which has been instituted during the coronavirus pandemic. Nicky Henderson is in no doubt the coronavirus pandemic is the most severe crisis of his lifetime, in racing and beyond.


FridayRacing’s shutdown in the UK is having a huge effect on stable staff, with reports of redundancies already rife. There was racing behind closed doors at Dundalk. It was carnage for the bookmakers with six winning favorites on the day. There was a 1-2 for the lads at Hilltop with Tony The Gent and Yuften. There was a double for Wayne Lordon with Aerclub and Lequinto. Aerclub looks a colt sure to go on to bigger and better things after maintaining his unbeaten record in impressive style at Dundalk. The win for Lequinto was good news for our members who had three bets on the day. Good day for our members 3 bets Bet 1 Cautious Approach 400 Dundalk (1pt each way) 4/1 Non-runner Bet 2 Lequinto 500 Dundalk (2pts win) 5/2 won Bet3 0.5pt each-way double won.


Saturday, we start on the track at Thurles. This is a track that does so much for Irish racing through the year. It seemed almost fitting that it should be Thurles that took centre stage. Zero Ten landed the feature race at Thurles, the Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase, after an eventful race. Trained by Emmet Mullins and ridden by his cousin David, Zero Ten had travelled supremely well throughout in the Grade Three. There were plenty of fallers however to my eyes Zero Ten had matters in hand despite the fallers. Zero Ten is a lovely horse especially going right-handed. A winning day for our members Zero Ten 310 Thurles advised to our members (2pts win) 3/1Lorna Fowler appears to have a smart mare on her hands in the shape of Politesse, who ran out a ready winner of the Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle. The class came to the fore in the BetVictor Hurdle at Thurles as Jetz registered his first win of the season. Jessica Harrington’s eight-year-old has mixed it with some of the best hurdlers and chasers in Ireland in recent seasons.

In Australia, Tom Marquand rode his first Group, One winner, as the William Haggas-trained Addeybb lifted Saturday’s Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill. William Haggas could not believe how well his long-held plans for both Young Rascal and Addeybb paid off at Rosehill.


Sunday, it was Downpatrick that took centre stage. Jockey Luke Dempsey made the most of an unexpected opportunity as The Very Man continued his return to form with a decisive victory in the WKD Rated Hurdle. Space Cadet landed the decent prize he had often threatened in his younger days when staying on strongly to win the Randox Ulster National Handicap Chase at Downpatrick. Having spent a large part of his career with Gordon Elliott, Space Cadet was moved by owner Chris Jones to Gearoid O’Loughlin’s yard last year – and despite winning two point-to-points for his new handler, he had not managed to bag a race under rules since October 2016. 

Ballyadam brought up a double for Gordon Elliott in the finale at Downpatrick, the Molson Coors (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race. With Yousayitbest (change in going) out, Ballyadam went off a 1/6 chance, to put the memory of a 1/4 failure at Navan, 35 days back, well in the past. Again with Jamie Codd in the plate, the point-to-point winning Fame And Glory gelding (bought out of the Colin McKeever yard for 330,000 pounds after that) completely took over in the final quarter-mile. The Cheveley Park Stud-owned five-year-old had no less than eighteen lengths in hand over 100/1 shot, I Don’t Get It, at the finish. Earlier at the number one through the Gigginstown House Stud-owned and Luke Dempsey-ridden, The Very Man, Elliott said: “The ground was too soft in Navan and he was a bit free, but he's a good horse.Meanwhile, Codd was impressed, remarking: "He could be the best I've ever ridden."

Golden Sixty came from last to first as he won a thrilling edition of the BMW Hong Kong Derby by just a neck from outsider Playa Del Puente at Sha Tin. The prestigious Dubai World Cup meeting, scheduled to take place at Meydan on Saturday, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.