Race Day Review- Leicester, 3rd December 2017

Leicester-racecourseBy Samantha


Leicester is my local track. Me and my family have had many wonderful memories together at the races as we are a very horsey family. We usually go to the majority of meetings at the weekends and in my school holidays. We went as it was a special occasion because it was my mum’s birthday the day before.

Leicester is a dual purpose track in the Midlands. It is located about ten minutes from Leicester’s train station. There are regular buses to the venue and excellent parking facilities. The track has brilliant access for disabled users and people with pushchairs allowing people to go between the Parade Ring and Grandstand without having to go up any stairs. You can see most of the course from the stands which are open to everyone to go in when it is windy. Believe me, it is windy and a bit nippy down the finishing straight even in the summer. There are many themed race days and by the stands there is a park for younger visitors.

The race track isn’t one of the most visited race tracks in the country but the big trainers and jockeys still come and bring there horses. I was talking to trainer Robin Dickin before his horse Ballylagan ran in the 14:50. He said that he thought that the course was good because it suited gallopers and was a test for the horses. No big horses come very often but the racing never fails to impress.

Race 1-

1st Vinndictation (David Bass)

2nd Coolany (Paddy Brennan)

3rd Quick Pick (Sean Quinlan)

The Butcher Said led from the first and settled into a nice rhythm in front. At three out, Coolany loomed up and took over. He only led until the last because that’s when Vinndictation came up and swiped the lead. He ran away from the rest and won nicely by 4 1/2 lengths, adding his unbeaten tally to two. The son of Vinnie Row won last time out at Ludlow and seems to be a versatile sort as that was on good over shorter. It wasn’t  a very strong race and the favourite was one from one coming into the race like Vinndictation but maybe he could be a good sort to watch out for at some of the smaller events.

Race 2-

1st Octagon (Harry Bannister)

2nd Clock On Tom (Cieran Gethings)

3rd Bridey’s Lettuce (Andrew Pogson)

This race was led by Mister Big who was clear for his spell in front and the rest of the field reeled him in by 4 out and Clock On Tom went to the front. At the front he hung right away from the stands and made a mistake. This gave Octagon a good opportunity to take over. Also he idled badly in front. At the last he blundered it but ran on under a hard drive from Harry Bannister to the cheers of the crowd. There were lots of happy punters as the consistent gelding crossed the finishing line including me as he was my NAP of the day.  He had won last time out and got close on his first start for Harry Whitington after coming from Diane Sawyer’s stable.

Race 3-

1st The Romford Pele (Adrian Heskin)

2nd Fox Appeal (Nick Schofield)

3rd Astracad (Jamie Bargary)

This was a Veterans Chase and old boy Loose Chips and Grandads Horse ran together until the 11th. Grandads Horse then ran on and led until 4 out. The favourite, The Romford Pele, charted a wide course around the outside and was unleashed at the forth last. He took up the lead and went clear. There was a scary moment at the last as he crashed through the top but he was ridden out to win by 3 1/2 lengths under Adrian Heskin for Tom George. George’s strike rate at Leicester is the highest at 38%. Also he has a 58% place rate which means that only two of his runners didn’t win or were placed! The horse is a nine time winner and he used to be stabled with Rebecca Curtis.

 Race 4

1st Balgemmois (Brendan Powell )

2nd Wind Place And Sho (Jack Quinlan)

3rd Generous Day (Jack Sherwood)

Zen Master made all until before 3 out and Balgemmois took over the lead. He ran on gamely when challenged by Wind Place And Sho who ran on right from the rear to be denied by a neck. Balgemmois is only four and was 9th last time out and third on his two starts before that on soft ground. He seemed to relish the conditions and shorter trip.

Race 5

1st Kilronan Castle (Adrian Heskin)

2nd Finnegan’s Garden (Trevor Whelan)

3rd Remember Forever (Andrew Glassonbury)

It was a fairly straight forward ride for Adrian Heskin to land the second leg of his double on the card. Donald McCain Jnr’s charge was clear approaching 4 out. He stayed on to win easily and wasn’t at all challenged. It was a bit of a surprise because he was 9th and 6th on his two previous starts.

Race 6

1st Knocknamona (Alain Cawley)

2nd Western Wave (Adrian Heskin)

3rd Megabucks (Robert Hawker)

The concluding race had the biggest field of the day with 15 runners. Maroc led the field, pulling. He hit the 6th and got headed at 4 out and Megabucks went to the lead. At the third last, Ivanhoe took a crashing fall, the only one of the day, as he was drifting back in the field. By two out, Knocknamona came to the front after tracking a wide course down the outside. When Alain Cawley asked, he went and eased into the race. The second horse had no chance of staying with him. It was a quick turn around from his last run which was only a week before on heavy ground at Uttoxeter that he won.


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