Posted Wednesday October 25th 6pm
In May of this year Jane Carley wrote an article for the Pitchcare magazine “Great Yarmouth Racecourse looking forward” about the recent renovation work at Great Yarmouth racecourse and the aim to return the Norfolk track to its role as the nursery for stars of the future. Here are the racing bits with the help of “cut and paste”!
“The seaside track moved to its current site, a stone’s throw from the bustling promenade, almost 100 years ago and gained a reputation as an ideal ‘nursery’ for flat racing’s future stars. Track improvements at Great Yarmouth have been given the thumbs-up by trainers and jockeys and are starting to attract increased numbers of runners back to the Norfolk course. “Leading Newmarket trainers like to bring their two-year olds to Great Yarmouth for their maiden races,” explains Clerk of the Course Richard Aldous. “We have a mile straight which is regarded as an honest galloping track that allows horses to get into their stride. It’s a very fair track now – the best horse generally wins.”
But, in recent years, the land on the straight mile had started to move and undulations appeared on the racing surface.
“It could be unbalancing for inexperienced horses and, by 2012, we were starting to get negative feedback, whilst runners also dropped off,” explains Head Groundsman Richard Bradley. In spring 2014, a survey of the course found that some of the undulations were two to four inches in depth. “It doesn’t sound much,” says Richard Aldous, “until you consider that the horses are travelling at 35mph and that the going tends to be good to firm. We observed that the running line had also changed over the years as jockeys sought the best ground, moving from the stand rail to the middle of the track.”
On 20th September 2014, work began to strip the turf, “We got to a furlong from the end towards the back of October 2014, then the heavens opened, and the track flooded,” says Richard Aldous. “It was a very difficult and frustrating time,” recalls Richard Bradley. It was not until the beginning of March 2015 that the job was completed.
Great Yarmouth was back in action in August 2015. The main concern was whether the course was able to withstand the extremes that the elements could produce, and it was not to be. A significant amount of rain fell between races then, due to an incident where two horses slipped and jockeys were unseated because of standing water, the final day and a half of the September Festival was abandoned.
Racing recommenced at Great Yarmouth on 8th June 2016 and Richard Aldous says that the track enjoyed a very good season – despite a blip when an irrigation pipe from the golf course burst under the track during the September Festival.
“The track was finally standing up to racing well. More experienced jockeys were trying different running lines, familiarising themselves with the new surface,” he comments. “The development has been appreciated by trainers and jockeys who acknowledge that we were trying to do our best for horse welfare. We would like full fields and competitive racing, and it is certainly looking up since the development. Runners are increasing all the time and feedback is good, so we are looking forward to the season.””
With the powerful Newmarket yards of John Gosden, Sir Michael Stoute, Charlie Appleby and William Haggas now sending plenty of runners I believe the form of these maidens is strong and in some cases exceptional.
Back in September after their Summer festival I profiled two Yarmouth maidens that I felt were laden with future winners, well I thought I saw another strong C4 fillies maiden over 8F on Tuesday.
(I will tack on the September blog to the end of this one in case you missed it)
There were two divisions of this fillies maiden with the first division comfortably by Dramatic Queen on her second outing for William Haggas with James Doyle keeping it simple by making every yard and lengthening 2F out to put the race to bed. John Gosden’s Heather Lark was a solid second on her third outing and will now get a handicap mark and an indication of how the Official Handicapper views the race. Behind, the good sized Frankel filly, Qazyna, was taken all over the place but kept on whilst the H-a-M/Burrows/Crowley Anaakeed was clueless and can only improve.
Prior to racing I thought the second division looked the deeper and indeed the second division was run almost a second quicker, equating to five lengths, with Dramatic Queen Division I winner, strictly on the clock finishing fifth in Division II, although there are some mitigating circumstances.
The race itself “Celestin’s was well away but Gerard Mosse clearly had a flight to catch and burnt through the early fractions on Star of Sienna, Celestin’s, Glitterdust and Goldspun towed the main pack along down the centre of the course. The leader was spent at the 2F pole and four went past, the three who were chasing the pace and stand side an ice cold James Spencer on Lady of Shalott who was galloping all over this field. Come with Me, a George Strawbridge owned daughter of Dansili, followed her home under a busy Rob Havlin.”
Lady of Shalott is a big scopey daughter of Camelot, she has won comfortably despite looking around in the final furlong. She is surely Group class and I think the next six home will all win next season at different levels and different trips.
2:00 Yarmouth 24 Oct 2017 Breeders Backing Racing EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Div II)
(Class 4) (2yo) (1m3yds) 1m Good To Soft
POS. (DRAW) HORSE / SP JOCKEY / TRAINER AGE WGT OR TS RPR
1 (9) Lady Of Shalott 12/1 Jamie Spencer/David Simcock 2 9.0 – – 79
Held up, headway over 2f out, led over 1f out, ran on well
2 (6) 2¾ Come With Me 20/1 Robert Havlin/John Gosden 2 9.0 t1 – – 71
Mid-division, headway over 2f out, ridden, every chance over 1f out, stayed on same pace well inside final furlong (op 16/1 tchd 22/1)
3 (7) 1¾ [4½] Glitterdust 16/1 Ted Durcan/Sir Michael Stoute 2 9.0 – – 67
Chased leaders, ridden and every chance over 1f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong (op 14/1)
4 (8) ½  Celestin’s 7/4 Martin Harley/William Haggas 2 9.0 – – 66
Chased leader who went clear over 6f out, closed to lead over 1f out, soon ridden and headed, no extra inside final furlong (op 6/4)
5 (5) ½ [5½] Hameem 6/4F Jim Crowley/John Gosden 2 9.0 – – 65
Slowly into stride, soon pushed along in rear, headway over 1f out, not reach leaders (op 2/1)
6 (10) 1 [6½] Hourglass (IRE) 7/1 Andrea Atzeni/Marco Botti 2 9.0 – – 62
Slowly into stride, ran green in rear, ran on inside final furlong, never nearer (tchd 5/1)
7 (1) ¾ [7¼] Goldspun 28/1 Fran Berry/Ed Dunlop 2 9.0 – – 61
Chased leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened final furlong (op 25/1)
LADY OF SHALOTT (David Simcock) £80K yearling who caught the eye of Marten Julian who made her a dark 2yo to follow in his Autumn Update, “Third foal and a half-sister to 1m 2f winner Harold Lloyd out of a middle-distance winning
full sister to two winners including US Grade 3 winner Roman Dynasty. Second dam a US Listed stakes winner and a half-sister to seven winners. A scopey filly but very stoutly bred on her distaff side, so one for the longer term.”
Surely an Oaks filly, whether it’s the Epsom variety or something more regional only time will tell.
COME WITH ME (John Gosden) Wears a black noseband and had a first time tongue tie. Made her debut in the hot HQ maiden won by Wild Illusion, then had a troubled passage at Nottingham over 8½F on ground surely too soft. She is by Dansili out of a Sadlers Wells mare who was G3 class on Good to firm ground at around a mile. Quick ground, 8-10F and a year older she could be useful, especially if she appears on the AW in a handicap (?) or is shipped to the USA.
GLITTERDUST (Sir Michael Stoute) A Cheveley Park home bred daughter of Intello who has taken a big step forward after running green behind Bye Bye Baby at HQ. She’s a tall leggy filly who did best here of those that chased the pace early on. 8/10F fillies handicap would be the least of her aspirations considering her connections.
CELESTIN’S (William Haggas) Not the biggest but a battler who will surely improve for quicker ground, a handicap mark and maybe 7F will be her trip.
HAMEEM (John Gosden) €500K yearling purchase at Arqana sent off 6/4 favourite here on debut and must have been impressing on the Gosden gallops. Breeding suggests she won’t be se seen at her best until she races over 12F. Slowly away here but travelled OK, green when asked to pick up but kept on. Definite “first day at school”! Hameem is owned by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum’s 19yo daughter, Hissa. The Dubai clan are certainly getting the kids involved!
HOURGLASS (Marco Botti) After the winner probably the second most interesting horse to take from the race. I don’t associate Marco Botti with M Tabor, D Smith & Mrs J Magnier and especially with a daughter of Galileo who is a half-sister to Shamardal! On debut here, bustled along in the rear, progress under hands and heels but when Atzeni gave her a tap she whizzed home! Oodles of promise.
GOLDSPUN (Ed Dunlop) Another debutante who chased the pace, every chance two out but pretty clueless and looked after, the “educational” introduction. As a daughter of Nathanial I am sure trainer Ed Dunlop can place her to good effect up in trip but there is plenty of mile pace on the dams side so finding her trip may take a couple of runs.
Get them in your trackers!
Previous blog – Yarmouth 20 Sep 2017
As I keep hearing whispers from the Sir Michael Stoute yard that “he has at least two as good as, if not better, than Expert Eye” from the September 15 2017 Catching Pigeons column on sportinglife.com I made a note of “One for next week to keep tabs on is Regal Reality from the Sir Michael Stoute yard. The son of Intello, out of Regal Realm, has a couple of entries at Yarmouth and while he’s likely to come forward for his initial racecourse experience, his homework suggests there’s a lot to look forward to in the long term.”
It’s great to see all the top Newmarket yards sending their better 2yo’s to Yarmouth once again. Not only is it flat again but they race down the centre of the course more often than not, with few hard luck stories. Any first time winner from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard has to go in the notebook.
“Of the first four home only the third, Godolphins Dream Warrior, had run before when third to Elector (another Stoute 2yo debut winner) at Ascot. Regal Reality was out well and made every yard, lengthening at the two furlong pole and seeing the 7F out well. Rich Identity came from midfield with a change of gear to get within half a length of the winner and looks a real prospect. Dream Warrior sat on the leader’s quarters but when asked to challenge was still green and found little. Grandscape had the “educational” ride having settled and travelled well he stayed on with purpose without getting competitive.”
Hobgoblin Legendary Ruby Ale / EBF Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Div II) Class 4 2yo 7f3yds Soft
POS. (DRAW) HORSE / SP JOCKEY/TRAINER AGE WGT OR TS RPR
1 (4) Regal Reality 9/4 Ryan Moore Sir Michael Stoute 2 95 – 32 78
Made all, ridden 2f out, found extra over 1f out, kept on well under pressure when pressed inside final furlong, ridden out (op 15/8 tchd 7/4 and 5/2)
2 (7) ½ Rich Identity 11/2 Andrea Atzeni Roger Varian 2 95 – 30 77
Dwelt, soon in touch in midfield, closed to chase leaders over 1f out, switched left and chased winner 1f out, strong challenge inside final furlong, kept on well but always held (op 13/2 tchd 7/1)
3 (2) 2¼ [2¾] Dream Warrior EvensF Colm O’Donoghue Charlie Appleby 2 95 – 23 71
Took keen hold, pressed winner, ridden well over 1f out, lost 2nd and unable to quicken under pressure 1f out, outpaced but held on to 3rd inside final furlong (op 7/4)
4 (8) nk  Grandscape 33/1 P J McDonald Ed Dunlop 2 95 – 22 70
Held up in touch in midfield, effort over 1f out, chased leaders 1f out, kept on same pace, no impression inside final furlong
REGAL REALITY (Sir Michael Stoute) A Cheveley Park home bred son of German sire Intello, out of Regal Realm who won two 7F G3’s at Goodwood. Could be a cracking 3yo, 8-10F. No Group entries.
RICH IDENTITY (Roger Varian) Home bred Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum colt by Dubawi out of a Daylami mare suggests he’ll be wanting 10F+ further down the line. Showed a turn of foot on debut at Yarmouth having raced keenly to get within half a length of Regal Reality.
DREAM WARRIOR (Charlie Appleby) Two runs, twice finished third to a Sir Michael Stoute debutante winner, Elector at Ascot and Regal Reality at Yarmouth. Son of Dubawi out of a Group 1 “Beverley D” winning mare, I’m a Dreamer. Should have no issues with 10F next season, just immature and could be one to improve through handicaps although of course Godolphin seem to have some larger targets.
Saturday, 26 May 2018 – 4:10 Curragh Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies) (1m)
Saturday, 02 June 2018 – 4:30 Epsom Investec Derby (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies) (1m4f)
GRANDSCAPE (Ed Dunlop) US Pedigree, £72K son of Lemon Drop Kid. On debut respectable fourth to Regal Reality in a C4 7F maiden. Settled, travelled and stayed on. Looks a handicap project, probably on Good ground or better or maybe the AW?
2:30 Yarmouth 21 Sep 2017
“Yarmouth September 20th C4 6F 2yo fillies maiden. I like the look of this race, so much so that I have put the first five home in my tracker. Flying Sparkle was one from one having beaten Hunni (Won a C2 6F nursery at HQ next time) on debut over 5F in a C5 at Windsor and had to give three pounds to the other four. Flying Sparkle was prominent throughout, quickened approaching the furlong pole and the other four all made up ground to varying degrees. Beauty Filly picked up in the style of a useful filly to win by a length in the hands of Ryan Moore. Left Alone running in the second colours of Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum, he also owns the winner, came from further back and had to weave his way through, so a creditable third. This was Rozanne’s third run, having run in two strong maidens behind the likes of Teppal and Dark Rose Angel, and she showed a turn of foot without troubling the front three. Bidding War had the educational, hands and heels ride, travelling in the back three, making her ground up under hands and heels on the far side and got close enough without Martin Harley getting busy. The time wasn’t earth shattering, Topspeed 46, the RPR for the winner was 79, so it will be interesting to see if the form is franked.”
Ken Lindsay Memorial/EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Class 4) (2yo) (6f3yds) 6f Good To Soft
POS. (DRAW) HORSE / SP JOCKEY /TRAINER AGE WGT OR TS RPR
1 (10) Beauty Filly 6/4F Ryan Moore William Haggas 2 90 – 47 79
Held up in touch in midfield, effort entering final 2f, ridden to challenge over 1f out, led just inside final furlong, ran on well, ridden out (op 13/8 tchd 11/8)
2 (1) 1 Flying Sparkle (IRE) 11/4 Jamie Spencer Michael Bell 2 93 – 46 79
Led until over 2f out, chased leader until ridden to lead again over 1f out, driven and headed inside final furlong, stayed on same pace final 100yds (op 4/1 tchd 5/2)
3 (11) nse  Left Alone 5/1 James Doyle Hugo Palmer 2 90 – 42 76 Held up in touch towards rear, not clear run and switched right over 1f out, headway and switched left inside final furlong, ran on strongly final 100yds (op 4/1)
4 (9) ½ [1½] Rozanne (IRE) 33/1 J F Egan Jeremy Noseda 2 90 – 40 74
Held up in touch, ridden and headway entering final furlong, switched left inside final furlong, stayed on well (op 28/1)
5 (3) 1¼ [2¾] Bidding War 20/1 Martin Harley James Tate 2 90 – 35 71
In touch in last trio, ridden and headway over 2f out, chased leaders over 1f out, unable to quicken and kept on same pace inside final furlong (op 16/1)
PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY The market suggested Beauty Filly was the one to beat in the six-furlong fillies’ novice stakes and so it proved with the William Haggas-trained daughter of Invincible Spirit registering a length success on what could be the start of a bright career.
BEAUTY FILLY (William Haggas) A £280K daughter of Invincible Spirit who was expected on debut and duly obliged at 11/8. Well regarded by connections.
FLYING SPARKLE (Michael Bell) Cost £70K and looks money well spent as she did well to beat Hunni at Windsor and could well have “bumped into one” at Yarmouth although with her penalty would come out as the best horse in the race. Thoroughly deserves a step up in grade with Redcar a suitable target.
Saturday, 07 October 2017 – 3:20 Redcar totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy (Listed Race) (6f)
LEFT ALONE (Hugo Palmer) €120K daughter of first season sire, Reckless Abandon. Good size about her and certainly made her ground up comfortably. Her dam was a 10F winner with plenty of form on the AW. Should get a mile in time.
ROZANNE (Jeremy Noseda) Home bred daughter of Canford Cliffs who with hindsight taken part in three strong fillies maidens. Could go handicapping off OR75 and I would be disappointed if that wasn’t a winning mark.
Friday, 06 October 2017 – 6:15 Chelmsford (AW) Bet toteJACKPOT At betfred.com Nursery Handicap (6f)
BIDDING WAR (James Tate) £110K daughter of Champs Elysses who will want all of 10F as a 3yo and if her siblings are anything to go by she should be an OR90+ rated filly. On debut was rear early but made her ground up well on the wing, far side, all hands and heels to finish a close up fifth. Tate seems to have a yard improving in quality and trains this filly for his main patron Saeed Manana.