10 Jul July 2017
Fine performance at Hamilton gives Camanche Grey a 3rd career success
On 4th July Ben takes 2 horses up to Hamilton Park, Prancing Oscar and Camanche Grey, both ridden by conditional jockey Rob Fitzpatrick. Prancing Oscar, a maiden 3 year old after 4 career starts to date, contests a handicap over an extended mile. He is held up towards the rear of the 11 runners early in the race, and in the home straight at the 3 furlong marker has just 2 horses behind him, but his young rider then starts to make ground on the outside of the runners and running on well enters the final furlong in 4th place. Prancing Oscar cannot make any further impression on the leaders and finishes in 4th place but this is a very respectable run, particularly since he was giving weight to all his rivals.
Later in the afternoon our 6 year old Camanche Grey takes his place in a 10 runner field in a 5 furlong handicap. Rob has Camanche Grey nicely positioned on the heels of the leaders for much of the race but starts his challenge on the inside rails approaching the furlong marker. Camanche Grey quickly moves into the lead and runs on well to score readily at the line by one and three quarter lengths. This is a nice performance indeed from Camanche Grey, and a well-deserved success for owner Mrs Christine Barclay. This was a 3rd career win for the grey, all over the minimum trip. He was nicely handled by Rob Fitzpatrick and the success gives Ben his 5th Flat winner of 2017, and puts him halfway to his career best Flat score for a season. The win also continues the fine form of our horses and pleasingly ends the frustrating run we have experienced in the last month or so when so many of our runners have been placed, but without actually winning !
2 year old’s Elysee Star and Funkadelic both take 3rd places at opposite ends of the country
Two more runners the next day at opposite ends of the country. First off is our 2 year old Elysee Star who stays in North Yorkshire to run in a 6 furlong Novice Stakes race at Thirsk, following on from her excellent 2nd place on her debut run at the same course 2 weeks ago. Cam Hardie is in the saddle today and he has Elysee Star well positioned just behind the leaders throughout the race. Entering the final furlong Elysee Star moves into third place but despite chasing the 2 leaders can only run on at one pace to finish 3rd of the 12 runners, beaten 2 and a half lengths. This is a second good performance from Elysee Star who carries the colours of our own Go Alfresco Racing syndicate and the filly certainly looks to have a promising career ahead of her.
Our second runner of the day is another 2 year old, Funkadelic, who is a very rare runner for Ben at Bath, in a Novice Stakes race over 5 furlongs. Leading jockey Fran Berry is having his first ride for Ben and immediately takes Funkadelic into a narrow lead on the rails. Funkadelic runs a nice race and is not headed until just over a furlong out and despite being hampered in the final furlong stays on well to finish 3rd of the 5 runners beaten just a length and a half, with the other 2 runners well in arrears.
Another 3rd place for the consistent The Doorman at Market Rasen
On 9th July the consistent The Doorman is out again, this time at Market Rasen for an extended 2 mile 5 furlong Class 3 handicap chase under regular pilot Richie McLernon. Held up in the rear early in the race The Doorman begins to close on the leaders after 4 out and goes into third place at the 3rd last fence. Although comfortably holding on to third place The Doorman cannot get to the leaders in the run to the line and the 8 year old has to settle for another placing, a fair performance though as he was up in grade for this race. The Doorman has now finished in the first 3 on 7 occasions ( winning twice ) in his 9 races to date in 2017.
Cherry Oak draws significant improvement on her debut run with 3rd place at Catterick
19th July sees the second racecourse appearance of Cherry Oak, a 2 year old filly by Society Rock, who finished last of 7 at Nottingham 11 days ago. Cherry Oak again runs in a 5 furlong Novice Stakes race this time at Catterick but is now partnered by Graham Lee who has the filly nicely positioned just behind the leaders on the outside for much of the race. Entering the final furlong Cherry Oak goes into third place but cannot close on the leaders and stays 3rd of the 11 runners at the line, albeit 7 lengths behind the runner-up, at the good odds of 33/1. Nevertheless this is a distinct improvement on her first run when, to be fair, she was squeezed for room and bumped leaving the stalls, and owners the Ontoawinner syndicate and Daniel Shapiro can draw significant encouragement from this run.
Yet another 3rd place as Camanche Grey continues to hold his good form at Hamilton
The following day Camanche Grey returns to Hamilton to try to repeat his success at the Lanarkshire course 16 days ago in another 5 furlong handicap again partnered by our apprentice jockey Rob Fitzpatrick. Camanche Grey is badly drawn on the outside of the 8 runners but Rob has the grey prominent throughout and makes his challenge on the leader in the final 2 furlongs. The 6 year old can only run on at one pace in the last furlong and loses second place near the line but still finishes a very respectable 3rd. These two runs this month represent good improvement on Camanche Grey’s previous performances and he is clearly in good heart at present.
And another 3rd place for Camanche Grey, this time on Newcastle’s all-weather track
Camanche Grey hasn’t finished for the month yet ! On 29th July Christine Barclay’s grey forsakes Hamilton to try his hand on Newcastle’s all-weather track, again over 5 furlongs. Rob Fitzpatrick once more takes the ride and has Camanche Grey on the heels of the leaders throughout, before making his move after the 2 furlong marker. Camanche Grey keeps on in good style without having the pace of the leaders but holds on to 3rd place of the 12 runners, beaten less than 3 lengths. This is Camanche Grey’s 3rd good run of the month and in 11 runs on the all-weather 3rd is his best placing to date.
In the second division of the same 5 furlong handicap Vaux finishes 9th of the 12 runners, beaten just over 6 lengths.
First career success for Prancing Oscar as Oisin Murphy wins on his first ride for Ben
On the final day of the month Ben takes Prancing Oscar to Wolverhampton to experience their all-weather track for the first time, although he did finish second on Newcastle’s similar tapeta surface in March, his best performance to date. Our 3 year old has to wait until 9 pm, the final race on this evening card, a maiden handicap over an extended mile with 13 runners, and he is partnered by leading jockey Oisin Murphy having his first ever ride for Ben. Oisin quickly takes Prancing Oscar into the lead and proceeds to make all under a well-judged ride, holding on by a neck at the line.
This is Prancing Oscar’s first career win on his 6th start and Ben believes their should be much more to come from the 3 year old who carries the colours of Middleham Park Racing, long-standing owners at Castle Hill Stables. The future may see Prancing Oscar going over a longer distance on the flat, or indeed over hurdles. This is also Ben’s 6th winner of the current Flat season and, of course, Oisin Murphy now has a 100% record for Ben !