In the first of a new series Paul Brierley, TPD’s Northern UK Race Timing Operator, reports on his horses of interest from Sedgefield, Great Yarmouth and Doncaster from the week of 13-19 May.
The journey to Sedgefield for GPS race tracking testing was an easy one. It was the first track I ever went to as a kid back in the 1970s where Ridley Lamb, Arthur Stephenson and Denys Smith were a few names on the race card.
The National Hunt game is something I’ve been around for a long time and, having been a NH jockeys’ agent, it was nice to see some old faces, including Ryan Mania (representing Sandy Thomson) who won the Grand National on Aurora’s Encore. Two of today’s top jockeys were there in Richard Johnson and Daryl Jacob while runners from Nicky Henderson and Dan Skelton made it felt more like a Southern meeting.
The going was Good and the track was in good shape thanks to the ever helpful Trainee Clerk of the Course, Michael Naughton. Daryl rode a treble while Brian Hughes had his usual double at the track. I was impressed with Caius Marcius in the Novices’ Chase and he’s likely to follow up having clocked 37mph between the last two obstacles!
I hit the road and headed South towards Yarmouth with an over night stop at Kings Lynn after surprisingly easy traffic on the A17 and A47. The Yarmouth greeting is another friendly one with Cliff and Kevin in the weighing room really going out of their way to help.
The racing is competitive, and with the ground drying all the time we have few non-runners. There is one major highlight: Archer’s Dream impresses both visually and on the clock to win the Novice under a penalty. James Fanshawe has a nice filly on his hands and a step up in grade surely beckons for the daughter of Dream Ahead.
Some jockeys take a look at the sectionals after their races. Paddy Mathers and trainer Derek Shaw discuss the run of Harbour Vision and have look at his sectionals to see if he stayed the 8f - he ran well but is one to note if he’s dropped back to 7f on the turf or an easy 1m around a bend.
The week ended with an evening meeting at Doncaster. A crowd of nearly 18,000 was expected as the post racing entertainment was Jess Glynne. I walk the track to see that it’s like a carpet, to the credit of Roderick Duncan and his ground staff, and the going is on the quick side of Good. Some fast times echo the going description.
The big highlight of this Donny meeting is the 2yo Novice race over 5f. The time of 60.017s is the fastest time over the distance by all ages this season and the winner, Romero, looks an above average youngster for Kevin Ryan. I will be following the next three: Mecca’s Hot Steps, She Looks Like Fun and Dandizette as they all look sure fire winners of Maidens or Nurseries.
Next week sees me return to Yarmouth where I hope for noteworthy horses and a fast passage down the A17 and A47.3
All horses, results and sectional times from UK racing tracking by TPD are available on At The Races. com