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Race Meeting Report - 9 May 2016

Mon, May 9, 2016

The going was good to firm following watering. It was blustery but dry, though the clouds darkened as the afternoon went on.

The first race was for two-year-olds over six furlongs. As is often the case, the Richard Hannon stable provided the answer to this puzzle. Mr Scaramanga (7/2) scrambled home by a neck from the pacesetting Vinnievanbaileys, being brought wide by Sean Levey from last to lead inside the final furlong. The favourite, Monks Stand, was an unlucky loser, finishing a close third after meeting lots of trouble in running.

Next came a 7f handicap for three-year-olds. Let There Be Light (5/1) belied his previous lack of form by taking the lead after a furlong or two and keeping it under a typically vigorous ride from Adam Kirby. His rivals were beaten off by the furlong pole and he finished two lengths ahead of Bahamian Boy to provide Gay Kelleway with a quick long-distance double, as another of hers won at Wolverhampton 20 minutes earlier.

Nobody wanted to make the running in the 7f fillies' handicap. Gleaming Girl did so reluctantly, and she hung on till the last 50 yards, when Jim Crowley drove Lyfka into a narrow lead to win by half a length. Though the Paul Cole filly was the outsider of the four runners, the way that her odds had halved during the day to 9/2 indicated she was fancied.

Silvestre De Sousa was keen to lead on Inniscastle Lad (3/1) in the 1m2f handicap and once Van Huysen's challenge had been rebuffed with more than a furlong left he was able to come home in his own time. Officer Drivel stayed on into second, a length and a half behind. This was another winner for Ed Dunlop's stable, whose score for the year to date is only four behind his total for the whole of 2015.

Only two were seriously considered for the second 1m2f handicap on the card. The recent course winner Ifan put up a bold show, making the running and proving tough to pass when challenged by Glasgow Central (2/1) coming out of the dip. Adam Kirby needed all his strength to get the latter in front ahead with 150 yards to go and keep him from squeezing the runner-up onto the rails. The winner, owned by the wife of trainer Phil McEntee, stayed on doggedly for a three quarters of a length victory.

Richard Hughes, in his first full season as a trainer, was on the scoreboard in the mile handicap with Wordismybond (5/1), who was given a tremendously confident ride by former jump jockey Timmy Murphy. He waited until the last furlong before asking for an effort, and quickly overhauled the front-running Harry Bosch for a facile two and a half length success.

The presence of a so-called "handicap good thing" in a race is not an automatic guarantee to bash the bookies, but it worked out as it ought to in the 5f race that ended the day. The Patrick Chamings-trained Pandar (1/2 fav) looked a certainty based on his nine-length Nottingham win three days ago. Nevertheless Daniel Muscutt needed to roust him along from halfway. He took a long time to get into top gear, and only led in the last 75 yards. By then he was going much the best and he finished a comfortable length and a half ahead of the long-time leader More Spice.

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Jim Beavis