Raceday Report - 24th August 2018


25 August 2018

The weather on Ladies Day was windy and mostly dry, but the atmosphere was lively. Since the gates opened at 11.00 there’d been bands playing on stage, and more music was lined up after the last. Best Dressed competitions added to the party spirit.

The going was good to soft, though jockeys reported the course was riding softer than that.

Perhaps appropriately for Ladies Day, two fillies battled out the finish of the opener, a 7f nursery. David Evans’s One Kiss (8/1) went on with Improvising with a furlong and a half out, but always had a slight advantage and she came home half a length in front. Although her jockey Gabriele Malune lost his whip in the closing stages, he kept the winner going perfectly well.

Dewhurst Stakes entry Momkin was made the 1/7 favourite for the 7f race for two-year-old novices, but punters who tried to buy money were thwarted. Brian Meehan’s debutant Palavecino (7/1) made most of the running, and inside the final quarter of a mile he gamely resisted Momkin’s attempts to pass him. The favourite, who was conceding seven pounds, did inch ahead with a hundred yards to go, only for Palavecino to rally and regain the lead in the last couple of strides. He was a head in front at the finish, the rest trailing in six lengths behind. This was Nicky Mackay’s first success at Ffos Las, and he has now ridden a winner at every flat race track in Britain.

A very competitive 16-runner handicap on the straight 6f came next. Martin Dwyer brought Bernardo O’Reilly (12/1) through the centre of the field to lead 150 yards out, running on strongly to win by just over two lengths. Trainer Richard Spencer had been waiting for the ground to ease for his horse to show his best. Odyssa led the rest home, with Sweet Pursuit’s attempt at a fourth course and distance victory in a row ending with an honourable fourth place.

Brandy Station (6/1), one of Wrexham trainer Lisa Williamson’s two runners in the 5f dash, led all the way. That wasn’t the plan, but the horse broke well and as he was relishing the ground his apprentice jockey Elisha Whittington decided to let him bowl along in front. It was the third win of her career. Give Em A Clump, back on his favoured easier going, was gaining rapidly at the end and went down by only a head.

The 1m2f handicap featured a couple of improving three-year-old fillies. Brian Meehan and Nicky Mackay combined for another success with Spirit Of Appin (3/1), who joined the leaders front half a mile out and galloped on resolutely up the straight. She held off Regina Pacis for most of the last quarter mile before the latter dropped back. Wingingit ran on late to grab second, beaten half a length.

An interesting novices stakes over a mile featured the lightly-raced Wood Ditton runner-up Rock Force. He looked set to go on and win when taking the lead two out, but Plait crept into contention and justified her late support into 7/2 with a taking performance. Josephine Gordon was keen to ensure the Ralph Beckett debutante didn’t have too hard a race and used hands and heels as much as possible to get home by a neck. Knowing the trainer’s ability with fillies, this is definitely one for the notebook.

Josephine Gordon completed a quick double in the finale, a 1m6f handicap, on Pepper Street (9/4 fav) for her governor Hugo Palmer. She rode a very confident race, coming from almost last of the 14 runners to put her mount’s head in front a few strides before the winning post. The complexion of the race had changed several times in the straight and just as it looked like Royal Flag and Booborowie would fight out the finish Pepper Street sped past them to score by three quarters of a length.

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