Good-sized crowd enjoys eventful six-race card at Stratford Racecourse
DESPITE competition from England’s televised match against Germany in Euro 2020, there was a good crowd for Stratford’s eventful six-race card on Tuesday evening, writes David Hucker.
The meeting opened with two Class 3 events, each carrying a prize fund of £12,200, and, arguably, the Join Racing TV Now Novices’ Steeple Chase for five-year-olds and upwards over a trip of two-and-three-quarter miles set the standard.
Ballymoy, who notched a hat-trick of chase wins in the spring on good and soft going, was the 11-8 favourite to add to his tally, but he came down at the last fence when in with every chance. Rhythm Is A Dancer had disputed the lead with dual course hurdles winner The Bull McCabe.
In the end, it was Rhythm Is A Dancer who showed a better turn of foot after the last fence to come right away for an easy six-and-a-half length success.
The second was another over the larger obstacles with the Watch On Racing TV Handicap Chase for horses rated 0-130 over two miles and a furlong, in which locally-trained Atlantic Storm was making his tenth appearance over the course. Winner of this race when last run in 2019, he never got on terms with the leaders this time as 6-1 shot Scardura made all the running to win.
The third was the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap Hurdle over two-and-three-quarter miles and heading the betting was Chives, the selection from three entries for leading trainer Nicky Henderson.
Chives had only just got off the mark over jumps at Bangor-on-Dee last time, winning by a short head, and was even luckier here as he won the race in the stewards room. Calum Gilhooley had passed the winning post in front, but his weight cloth had flown off after jumping the last flight and, inevitably, he was disqualified for failing to carry the correct weight in the race.
It was back to fences with the Visit racingtv.com Novices’ Handicap Chase, this time covering a distance of two miles and three-and-a-half furlongs, and Newton Abbot winner Shortcross Storm headed the betting from Authorizo.
It was 7-2 shot Authorizo and Henry Brooke who came to join the leaders jumping the final fence and go clear on the run-in to deny Sparkleandshine.
The second hurdle race was the Bet At racingtv.com Maiden Hurdle over two miles and half a furlong and Uttoxeter runner-up Butte Montana proved too strong in the hands of Paddy Brennan for jumping debutants Mordred and San Fermin.
The closing Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing National Hunt Flat Race, which was restricted to conditional and amateur jockeys, went to 15-8 favourite Ocean Heights who collared course winner Ultimate Fame close home.