MICHAEL Dods is enjoying a good run with his stable at present and he was on the mark at Beverley on Saturday with Alans Pride in the opening twoyear- old-race.
Afterwards, Dods said: “He’s a nice horse who is bred to stay further. He got a bit far back from his draw but got into a good rhythm up the hill. He’s probably better on a flatter track and should get a mile and a quarter next season.”
Alan Swinbank, who trains only a handful of miles from Dods, was also among the winners as the 7f handicap went the way of In Focus who made most of the running under David Allan.
Afterwards the winning owner George Bell said: “He’s always worked well at home but he’s pulled hard and hasn’t really settled on the course until today.”
Haydock also raced last Saturday and Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning kept up their winning run with Heavy Metal in the 7f handicap. The winning jockey was delighted, saying: “He was a good horse in his younger days, he won a Group Two. You have to let him do his own thing and find his feet but once I pulled him out he was always going to get there.”
Johnston and Fanning weren’t finished as Fanning travelled north, to Carlisle, to partner Sir Guy Porteous to success in the fillies handicap.
Staying at Carlisle, the mother and daughter combination of Karen and Gemma Tutty teamed up for success with the likeable Talent Scout.
Tutty senior was delighted, saying: “Talent Scout ran a big race in the Carlisle Bell here without being good enough to win it. This was a more ordinary handicap and he’ll have a break now.”
It was Ripon’s turn to race on Monday evening, and for me, the best race was the finale when the game Thankyou Very Much stayed on the best for trainer James Bethell and PJ McDonald.
Pontefract raced on Tuesday, the conditions were horrible for horses and racegoers alike with heavy rain hitting the track most of the afternoon.
The last race was run in the gathering gloom, but once again it was a Michael Dods horse who came home in front.
This time it was My Name Is Rio who sloshed through the ground under a strong ride from Paul Mulrennan.
Another fantastic couple of days are coming up on the Knavesmire, starting this afternoon at 1.50pm.
Tomorrow’s highlight is the 55th running of the John Smith’s Cup, and this year’s renewal is bang up to scratch.
Clever Cookie is a fascinating runner for Malton handler Peter Niven, a horse who is flying through the ranks and has to be respected.
With Graham Lee heading down to ride Jack Dexter in the July Cup, Niven has booked the in-form PJ McDonald to take the ride for the first time.
On Sunday, Kevin Ryan will be leaving Yorkshire and heading to France were he believes The Grey Gatsby will have no problems stepping up in trip when he tackles 1m4f for the first time in the Group One Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.
The son of Mastercraftsman was an impressive winner of the French Derby on his most recent start and having finished well that day, as well as in his previous start when he won the Dante Stakes, Ryan has few worries about the slightly longer distance.
“He is an intended runner, he had a little break down the National Stud after his last run and he got fresh very quickly and we just felt it was too long to leave him between that run and York [for the Juddmonte International Stakes] and he was already in this race.
“He wasn’t stopping [in the French Derby] and it was a hands and heels ride, so I think there’s a very good chance he will get the mile and a half.”
A tilt at his elders over 1m2f in the Juddmonte International Stakes on August 20 will be next on the agenda for The Grey Gatsby after the weekend and Ryan added: “He’s a horse who has proved himself now.
He’s a horse to be reckoned with.”
So much to look forward too, bring it on.