Racing Review: 14/10/2017

By Niamh

Yesterday saw another top class day of racing from all over the country; but the majority of the attention was drawn to Newmarket on the second day of their Future Champions Weekend, and in between trying to complete my A Level geography homework, I was able to watch the action unfold.

On Friday, the Kevin Ryan trained Laurens stole the show by beating September by a miniscule margin in the Fillies’ Mile. That unlucky defeat saw Aidan O’Brien’s record chasing run hindered for a minute, but that was well and truly set right on Saturday when US Navy Flag led home a 1-2-3-4 for him in the Dewhurst Stakes. All eyes were on Expert Eye, the impressive winner of the Vintage Stakes, prior to the group 1 contest and he was sent off at odds of 4/7 but ended up racing too keenly in the early stages and trailed home in last place – he was found to be lame in one of his hind legs after the race. The show was well and truly stolen by Aidan O’Brien and his Ballydoyle contingent who incredibly filled the first four places in a race which they have now won for three years in a row after successes with Air Force Blue (2015) and Churchill (2016). US Navy Flag is a full brother to the three time group 1 winner Roly Poly and became only the second horse to do the Middle Park – Dewhurst double after Sir Henry Cecil’s Diesis won in 1982. US Navy Flag is now the 5/1 favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas.

This year’s Cesarewitch was made up of a maximum field of 34 and considering it is run over two and a quarter miles it is usually a very opening betting contest. This wasn’t the case this year as a significant gamble on the Roger Charlton trained Withhold paid off and he stormed home to win the Heritage Handicap by nearly four lengths from London Prize, giving soon to be champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa a third win in the race.

There was also action over the jumps at Chepstow yesterday which saw the long-awaited turn of smart hurdler Finian’s Oscar as he made his chase debut and won very comfortably by eleven lengths from Tintern Theatre. The Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle went the way of the popular Court Minstrel and the preceding Handicap Chase was won by Rock The Kasbah for Richard Johnson and Philip Hobbs.

However, Saturday ended on a sad note as the evening racing at Kempton Park took a tragic turn when a stable lad very sadly died after being kicked by a horse. My thoughts go out to his family and anyone affected by this tragedy.

Next Saturday sees British Champions Day being held at Ascot which looks set to be a fantastic day of racing action, I am lucky enough to be going once again this year and I can’t wait. I hope everyone has a good week 🙂US

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