What's happening at Royal Windsor



Tue, Sep 6, 2016

Windsor's only September meeting was a humid day and it wasn't surprising to see many horses sweating up. It paid to follow the winner of the best turned out award, for three of them won their race and three others were placed. Overnight rain turned the going good to soft. For races 2-5 they chose to finish on the middle or far side.

The first was a 6f maiden for two-year-olds. The hot favourite Primadonia came out of the stalls last and never improved her placing. Silver Penny (20/1) and Red Alert (whose odds halved to 5/1 in the last minute before the off) were first and second from the outset. They drew clear from halfway and fought out the finish, with Pat Cosgrave keeping Jim Boyle's grey filly in front by a neck.

The William Haggas filly Sirajiah (4/1 jt fav) had finished second in all her five starts but showed no sign of unwillingness then or today, when Pat Cosgrave drove her into the lead in the last hundred yards of the 6f handicap. Half a length behind, Equistar came out best of the quarter involved in a blanket finish for second place.

Quothquan (7/1), who lost his chance at the start of his previous race yet ran on to finish a good second, went one better in the mile nursery despite sweating up. Apprentice jockey George Wood kept him near the front of a slowly-run affair and once he took the lead inside the last quarter of a mile the race was his. He stayed on strongly to beat Buskin River by a length and a half, giving Hampshire trainer Michael Madgwick his first juvenile winner of the season.

West Drive (5/4 fav), another sweater, made all in the 1m4f maiden. Since his last run he'd been gelded and today Roger Varian fitted him with blinkers for the first time. Andrea Atzeni set a steady pace on him and by the three furlong marker he only had Vermeulen to worry about. That one harried him, without ever getting on terms, until fading with half a furlong to go, to finish a length down. At the post the outsider Easy Gold was running twice as fast as the leading pair, only just missing second place after being hopelessly outpaced half a mile out.

A 1m4f handicap followed in which Fire Jet (3/1) showed her surprise Newmarket win was no fluke, improving again to score by a length and a quarter from Pastoral Music. It turned into a sprint from the intersection, but once she led with two furlongs to go she showed a good battling attitude. It was Derbyshire trainer John Mackie's first runner at Windsor for almost seven years. Tom Queally was the successful pilot and he notched up a quick double in the next with Tom's Rock (20/1). He squeezed through a gap on the stand rail a furlong out and drove the John Butler-trained three-year-old to a length and a quarter win. Four went past the post in line vying for second and the judge awarded it to the rallying Betsalottie, who'd led for eight of the ten furlongs of this contest.

The northern raider Fast Act (10/1) hadn't lived up to his name for a long time, but after a string of disappointing efforts he had come down the weights enough for him to win. He made all the running until Silken Skies drew alongside a furlong out. They battled for supremacy and after flashing past the post together the photo revealed that the pacesetter had won by a nose. Kevin Stott rode him for Kevin Ryan.

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