The ladies sparkle as the favourites fail to shine
Published at 09:11, Monday, 02 July 2012
FOR the third successive week, heavy downpours failed to dampen spirits at Yarridge Heights when the ladies of the North defied the elements to match anything seen earlier in the week at Royal Ascot.
Despite the almost continuous rain throughout the week, head groundsman Mark Cameron and his dedicated team were up to their task once again and the course was declared fit for racing on Ladies’ Day.
The seven race card got underway with a two mile novices’ hurdle which attracted eight runners and was a triumph for the Brian Ellison trained Yes You Can ridden by Danny Cook at 6-1.
Mark Campion trained Charming Grace rewarded each way backers by coming third at the massive odds of 150-1.
Favourite backers were let down again in the second race, The Bet totepool Conditional Jockeys’ Selling Hurdle run over three miles.
Of the seven runners, only four finished and odds on favourite Manger Hanagment, from Gordon Elliot's yard in Ireland and ridden by Lucy Alexander, could only finish 18 lengths behind 11-4 winner Captain Scarlett, trained by John Flint.
It was a continuing story of woe for favourite followers in the third race, a novices’ chase over two and a half miles, which attracted only four runners.
Well backed favourite Saved By John, going off at 11-10, could only finish a poor third, 15 lengths behind 15-8 second favourite Wave Power, the second successive winner at consecutive Hexham meetings for local trainer Valerie Jackson.
The fortunes of favourite backers went from bad to worse in the fourth race, a two and a half mile handicap hurdle, which also attracted just four runners.
Backers who always support the outsider in a four horse race were smiling when Leac An Scail, from Joanne Foster's stable at Ilkley, ridden by apprentice jockey Samantha Drake, scored easily by 26 lengths at 15-2 from well backed favourite Well Green at 13-8.
There was another easy win for Samantha Drake in the next race, a three mile one furlong chase, as the up-and-coming jockey was first past the post on 20-1 outsider Lutin Du Moulin, trained by Chris Grant at Billingham.
In the penultimate race, a two mile handicap hurdle, favourite Sidney Cove, ridden by Campbell Gillies and trained at Hawick by Iain Jardine, was never in the hunt and the race was a victory for another traveller from the Cheltenham yard of Nigel Twiston-Davies, who is becoming a regular visitor to Hexham.
Desolait, at 13-2, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies fought out an exciting battle to the line with 20-1 outsider Glaced Over to take it by just one and a half lengths.
It was not until the final ‘bumper’ two mile flat race that favourite backers recouped their losses when Glen Gyle, at evens favourite, from Liam Lennon’s stable in Ireland and ridden by Jason Maguire, led from halfway to record an impressive 20 length victory.
All seven races on the card were sponsored by totepool and its general manager for the north, Malcolm Knowles, presented mementoes to winning connections and cash prizes to stable lads and lasses with the best turned out horses.
The sun finally shone between the fifth and six races when a large crowd cheered the winners of the special Ladies’ Day competitions, announced in the winners’ enclosure.
Once again the judges, with a difficult task of choosing winners, were Lesley Lister and her team from Tyne Tees Models.
The best dressed lady was Joanne Dixon, of Carlisle, who will have a future race named after her, while Castleside’s Sharon Chorley wore the most elegant hat, and Rebecca and Neil Coates, of Weardale, were judged the best dressed couple.
Hexham Racecourse will now have time to recover during a summer recess before racing resumes on Friday, October 5.
l Hexham Racecourse learned of the sad news that Campbell Gillies, a regular jockey at Yarridge Heights, died in a swimming accident on holiday in Greece on Tuesday.All at the racecourse wished to pass on their deepest sympathies.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk
This week in... 1919Saturday, June 16, 1934
Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland, Sir Charles Trevelyan unveiled a series of murals at Acomb Youth Hostel which had been painted by pupils of King Edward VII School in Newcastle.
Sir Charles commented that membership of the Tyneside Hostel Movement, which included the Acomb hostel, was expanding rapidly and there were plans to open another hostel at Twice Brewed on the Military Road.