Saturday 7 May 2011

HCE Snippets - Lots of Two-Year-Old Talk

Roger Charlton

Tioman Legend was a very different colt to the one that ran at Newbury, always travelling strongly and winning by an easy 5 lengths. It was probably a weak race but I hope he will continue to improve and be capable of staying 6 furlongs in time.

John Best

Bayleyf followed up his second place on his racecourse debut at Folkestone in a maiden stakes at Ascot over 5f today. Partnered again by Luke Morris, he was prominent from the start and stayed on well in the final furlong to battle it out with the favourite to take third place,  Congragulations go to Graham Jones and partners.  

Trainer John Best said: "Bayleyf ran really well in a competitive race.  It looks like it was a fair improvement from his debut at Folkestone.  He will probably take his chance in the Windsor Castle Stakes at the Royal meeting next, although he will need to improve again to be competitive."

Mick Channon

"Bollocks!" screamed MRC from the balcony of Ascot's Box 511 as Insignia Racing's Represent endured a nightmare passage in the fillies maiden on debut last night.

It's probably fair to say that Martin Harley would make different decisions with hindsight as the daughter of Exceed and Excel was the last off the bridle but had nowhere to go. She was brought around horses over to the far side, when a little more patience would might have seen her prevail, but despite all of this, the manner in which she failed was pleasing enough.

"I was pissed off at the time," reflected MRC this morning, "but these things can happen and I'm certainly not getting on Martin's case about it. It was a thrilling run and a cracking contest with us finishing third, beaten only a head and a short head.

"I seem to be able to get some real good ones beaten first time up. Nahoodh suffered a similar fate in the same race four years ago. She went on to win the Lowther and eventually the Falmouth so I suppose it's about winning the war and not the battle."

Such a comment is bound to encourage people to go a little bit overboard and this was pointed out to the Boss. As a result, he kept his summing up to a minimum.

"I think REPRESENT is good."

Mick On Chester

A rare visit North saw MRC greatly enjoy the hospitality laid on by Chester Racecourse on Wednesday. The North is often the source of great humour in the office as we always enjoy The "How many words until Tom O'Ryan mentions North Yorkshire" Sweepstake when he pens his latest column in the Racing Post.

Michael Junior currently leads the seasonal table having been closest on five occasions so far this campaign, and he stretched his lead to three yesterday with his guess of 27.

However, for all of the "Greet fut'North" comments that you hear after every Yorkshire based winner at York/Ascot/Goodwood etc. etc. there is something admirable about Northern racing folk and the way in which the courses treat their owners.

Mick couldn't believe the spread laid on at the Roodeye yesterday where he enjoyed the hospitality extended by Dr Marwan Koukash. It put the majority of Southern tracks hospitality to shame.
"Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding and all the trimmings, with service with a smile. The drinks were even cold. This is service that is seldom seen at Grade 1 tracks down here.

"I was at Sandown the other day and to say that it was poor is something of an understatement. The Owners' and Trainers' Bar by the Weighing Room is about five foot long, the staff were totally disinterested and the drinks were warm, expensive and the queue was ridiculous.

"It was a little embarrassing that some of my owners chose to buy some beers from the mobile bar by the main entrance.

"Ascot spent hundreds of millions on the new stand and the owners are catered for above the saddling boxes that couldn't be any further from the track. Their viewing area is on the lowest level of the grandstand steps and very poor.

"Chester haven't reinvented the wheel. They provide good food, spacious surroundings, excellent friendly service and above all make owners feel like an integral part of a raceday. They are THE main players in racing, although from what I've witnessed at several tracks you'd be hard pressed to notice." 

Brian Meehan

Ballesteros (Haydock 2.30 p.m.) Nice horse who will need the run but has been working very well at home.