TRAINERS rarely come along as shrewd as Sandhutton handler David Barron, and when he says one is the “real deal”
you’ve got to take note and that was Barron’s exact comment after watching his filly Likely make a winning debut at Carlisle on Monday.
Staying at Carlisle, there was a steady gallop for this fillies’ handicap in which Lady Artiste followed up her seven furlong Thirsk win off a much higher mark, for trainer Alan Swinbank.
Mother and daughter combination of Karen and Gemma Tutty were on the mark with Mercers Row in the 7f handicap, seeing out the trip well.
While Mercers Row came from last to first, later in the afternoon Valantino Oyster made all the running in the concluding handicap for the inform handler Tracey Waggott and jockey Dale Swift.
Still a bit of jumping around at present and two performances stood out over the last few days. First up was Everaard’s pillar to post success in the handicap chase at Kelso on Sunday.
Ridden, for the first time by Ryan Mania, the winner is as tough as old boots. Forcing the pace, he raced with enthusiasm and came right away in the home straight. The other likeable performance came on Tuesday evening when the George Moore trained Wolf Shield made all the running to land the novices’ chase at Hexham under Barry Keniry.
Back on the flat on Wednesday, and up at Hamilton Mark Johnston had a welcome winner in the concluding three-year-old handicap with Zanouska.
Malton trainer Peter Niven struck gold at York’s Dante Festival when he saddled Clever Cookie to win a valuable handicap on the opening day .
Tomorrow’s contest is run over the same course and distance (one mile and threequarters) as York’s summer highlight, the Betfred Ebor.
Niven identified that race as a potential target, although his progressive charge’s win at the Dante Festival came over an extended ten furlongs.
Clever Cookie’s path to big Saturday races on the Flat comes via an unconventional route. He began his racing career under National Hunt rules, winning twice in ‘bumpers’ (National Hunt Flat Races) before going on to strike three times over hurdles. In March he landed the Grade 2 Premier Kelso Hurdle at Kelso, which set up a tilt at the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr.
He didn’t make the frame that time at Ayr but just 15 days later lined up in a mile and a half maiden on the Flat at Doncaster. He won that contest easily under Graham Lee.
Clever Cookie’s opposition could include Group Three winner Cap O Rushes, Listed winner Caucus and dual Royal Ascot hero Forgotten Voice.