What's happening at Royal Windsor



Fri, Oct 21, 2016

Not only was the first of Windsor's three October meetings run on a warm sunny day, but several fancied runners won, providing punters with an additional glow of satisfaction. The going was good to soft, good in places. Quite a few of the winners came via the stands rail.

Although Henry Candy's gelding Santorini was having his first run, he was a popular choice at 7/2 joint favourite for the 6f maiden for two-year-olds. Dane O'Neill settled him in midfield until making steady progress from halfway on the outside and taking the lead half a furlong out. Bella's Venture did well to finish a one length second from an unfavourable draw.

There wasn't a lot of form to go on in the first division of the mile maiden for two-year-olds. The best of it had come from the Ed Walker stable's Glorious Forever (13/8 fav), who built upon that today by making most of the running under George Baker today. He had all his rivals at full stretch two out. Jewel House came out of the pack and drew alongside, but the leader found a bit more and prevailed by a neck.

The second division was headed by Adamant (7/4 fav), trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore, who was fresh from his Arc de Triomphe victory on Found the day before. This handsome grey was expected to build on a promising debut and did so in good style, being driven into an early lead and kicking on with two and a half furlongs to go. Nothing really looked like getting to him, though Munawer kept on nicely to finish a length and a quarter away.

A claimer over 1m2f came next. Richard Hannon's 13-race maiden Skeaping (2/1) won it with ridiculous ease, cruising into the lead three out and being unextended to score by five lengths, with Pat Dobbs looking round for non-existent dangers a furlong out. First-time blinkers certainly contributed to the horse's change of fortune. The winner and the runner-up, Cold Fusion, were claimed afterwards for £16,000 and £8,000 respectively.

Dropped in class, the course winner Wild Hacked (3/1 fav) took the feature race over 1m4f with the help of a bold ride from Harry Bentley. He squeezed through one small gap on the rails two out and tried persistently to do the same thing to get past the leader, Stratum. Eventually daylight appeared and he hit the front with half a furlong left, the pair pulling well clear. Half a length was the margin of victory for Marco Botti's improving three-year-old.

The sixth race, a nursery over a mile, completed doubles for Richard Hannon and Ryan Moore thanks to Geneva Convention (4/1). He led for a short time in the first part of the race, during which time he bagged the inside rail, and resumed the lead two and a half out. He was all out to hold off the favourite Calibration, on whom Jim Crowley was having a rare winnerless day, by half a length.

Before the next, over a mile, the lightly-raced Tiercel (3/1 fav) looked a possible blot on the handicap and although he won, it was only by a head. Andrea Atzeni held up Roger Varian's three-year-old off a strong pace until running on steadily from the intersection and reaching the front with about 50 yards to go. There's probably more to come from him. Outback Ruler finished second.

The eighth and final event on the card was for amateur jockeys over 5f. Few of them had much race-riding experience and it was Miss Jessica Cooley, having her second ride, who led them home on Alan Bailey's 16-race maiden Frangarry (20/1). The pair were just behind the front runners on the outside until easing into the lead over a furlong out. The winner didn't have a hard race to score by three quarters of a length, with Head Space running on from a long way back to finish second.

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