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Race Meeting Report - 21 April 2015

Tue, Apr 21, 2015

The 2015 season began with an evening meeting that took place under cloudless skies, though it was increasingly chilly as time went on. The going was good to firm, firm in places.

The first race was a 5f maiden for two-year-olds in which Taexali (8/11 fav), who had travelled over from Ireland, led all the way and needed only a couple of slaps from Shane Foley to hold off the second favourite Jet Setting by half a length. Pat Shanahan trains the winner in County Kilkenny.

The fancied horses sunk without trace in the 1m2f handicap. Despite being fractious in the stalls the John Berry-trained grey Roy Rocket (17/2) came with a smooth run on the outside to take the lead off Tamujin with half a furlong to go and win with a degree of comfort. John Egan rode the three-quarters of a length winner.

Brendan Powell trained the winner of the 7f handicap on this card a year ago. This year his Gannicus (3/1) was settled by Martin Dwyer in second for most of the race, but after taking the lead over a furlong out he was challenged by Ajig, squeezing through on his inside. The pair were level pegging until the last few strides, where Gannicus wrested the spoils by a head.

Baileys En Premier (7/2 jt fav) was one of two taken down to the start early for the next race, which was run over a mile. In second place for most of the way, he was under pressure fully three furlongs out, yet ran on gamely and led with over a furlong to go. He pulled a length and a quarter ahead of Rockie Road in the closing stages. John Egan was completing a double; this time he was riding for the Chris Dwyer yard.

Predictably Dr Red Eye set out to make all the running in the 7f handicap. Valiantly though he tried, Ganymede (8/1) took over just inside the final furlong and ground out a length and a half success under John Fahy. This was compensation for trainer Eve Johnson Houghton, whose Ajig was narrowly defeated earlier. The time for this race was better than the standard and it may pay to look out for the first two again.

In the sixth race, another 7f handicap, the eleven-time winner Pick A Little (7/2 fav) made all the running. When Skidby Mill came to join him he pulled out more to run out a convincing winner by a length and three quarters. Richard Kingscote was on board and the trainer was Michael Blake.

Stuart Williams's Brighton regular Welease Bwian (7/2 co fav) gained his third course success in the concluding event over 6f. Favoured by a small field and partnered as usual by apprentice Aaron Jones, he led on the outside with a furlong to go and was pushed out for a straightforward two length victory over Rain God. The twelve-year-old Peter Island, returning after an 804 day absence, showed plenty of speed, leading for a long way before finishing third.

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Jim Beavis