A day on from hosting Ladies & Gents Evening, the Roodee welcomed over 16,000 racegoers for the Clogau City Plate Day. A day full of eye-catching performances, double-winning jockeys, and an awful lot of sunshine, Roodee fans were treated to a top-class experience. The feature race of the day came at 3:34pm in the Raymond & Kathleen Corbett Memorial City Plate Stakes (Class 1, Listed), and the weather forecast was warm and sunny, with light winds. Ground conditions remained Good (Good To Firm in places) throughout the afternoon, having already been watered.
Race 1 – Printworks Apprentice Handicap Stakes (Class 4, 3yo, 7 ½f)
Once again, it paid to be up with the pace on the Roodee, as shown by Liamarty Dreams in the first race of the afternoon by making all under Pierre-Louis Jamin to win cosily by 2 lengths at 9/4. Fast out of the gates, Pierre-Louis Jamin set an honest pace at the head of affairs, leading the way from Herbertandflorence on his outer and Meg Tian on the rail, who in-turn held a couple of lengths advantage over the SP Fav Devasboy and the keen-travelling Kitaab. Making their way into the home straight, Liamarty Dreams still held sway from the chasing pack and soon kicked a couple of lengths clear, looking home and hosed from a long way out. Sure enough, as Liamarty Dreams entered the final 100 yards of the contest, he continued to gallop on strongly to the line to score impressively, with the late efforts of Meng Tian and Kitaab not proving enough to trouble the runaway winner. Already having a successful season with his younger horses, including two winners at Royal Ascot with Dramatised and Holloway Boy, Yorkshire-based trainer Karl Burke looks to have yet another progressive 3yo to go to war with this summer!
Race 2 – British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (Class 4, 2yo, 5f)
Two races, two front-running winners! Leading from pillar to post having broken smartly, Dickieburd provided Barry McHugh and Craig Lidster with a smooth success in the second race of the day, running on strongly to win at a huge price of 40/1 by 1 ¼ lengths. Racing keenly, Dickieburd set the early pace at the head of affairs under Barry McHugh, racing ahead of a tightly knit pack in prominent positions such as the 11/10F Stunt Game and eventual third place finisher Sugar Hill Babe. Barely having to be asked a question by McHugh, Dickieburd kicked for home rounding the home turn, a move that proved a shrewd one given that Rossa Ryan now had no choice but to play his hand aboard Stunt Game over a furlong from the line. With Paddy Brunty and Sugar Hill Babe fighting out the minor money placings, it was left for Stunt Game to take down the outsider of the field, but to no avail, as Dickieburd responded well for pressure in the final 100 yards and kept on well to record a fine victory. A welcome winner for connections, this victory provided trainer Craig Lister with his second winner of the season, and Barry McHugh with his eleventh, already tying his tally from last season. Congratulations to all connections on a fine victory!
Race 3 – Clogau Tree Of Life Fillies’ Handicap Stakes (Class 2, 3yo+, 6f)
After burnt fingers in the first two races, favourite backers were back in business after Race 3 when previous course winner (and 9/4F) Crazy Luck overcame a few traffic problems to score by a neck under a fine ride by P J McDonald. In the early stages of the race, Little Miss Dynamo and recent course winner Poet’s Magic set a strong pace from the front, fighting out the lead ahead of Sophie’s Star and Royal Ascot also-ran Loves Me Likearock. Looking to the middle of the pack, Princess Shabnam was kept wide throughout by Nicola Currie, racing alongside Crazy Luck on the rail, ahead of early back marker Scot’s Grace, who broke slowly from the stalls. As the tempo increased rounding the home turn, Poet’s Magic stuck to the inner rail and swept to the front ahead of Little Miss Dynamo, with Princess Shabnam suffering notable traffic problems in mid-division. However, a gap was left for the taking on the inside rail as the runners entered the final furlong, and Crazy Luck chanced his luck under P J McDonald, showing a sharp turn of foot to steal the lead. Having struggled for room from unpromising positions, the trio of Princess Shabnam, Loves Me Likearock, and Scot’s Grace made strong late challenges in the final 100 yards, but Crazy Luck held on in determined fashion to provide trainer Rod Millman with a pleasing success. No stranger to success in esteemed company, Millman is also known for training the classy operator Master Carpenter, who in 2014 won at Listed and Group 3 level, before scoring in the John Smith’s Cup at York in 2015!
Race 4 – Raymond & Kathleen Corbett Memorial City Plate Stakes (Class 1, 3yo+ 7f) (Listed Race)
Having disappointed on his previous run, the hot 9/4F Laneqash broke the heart of Misty Grey in the dying strides of the City Plate Stakes to prevail by just ¾ of a length at the line. Racing in rear having broken sluggishly, Laneqash looked to have a lot of work to do from a very early stage. At the other end of the spectrum, Barbanera and Happy Craf broke sharply and led the way at the head of affairs from the prominent Oscula, and the progressive Misty Grey. Similar to the run of Crazy Luck in the previous race, a gap presented itself on the inside rail to Misty Grey just under two furlongs from home, with early leaders Barbanera and Happy Craf giving way to the increase in tempo. Shortly after entering the final furlong of the straight, Misty Grey kicked a couple of lengths clear of the chasing pack and looked certain to go close. However, flying down the outside having been kept to the rear of the field throughout, Laneqash surged up the centre of the track to mount a strong challenge under David Egan as winning post loomed large. With less than 50 yards to go, Laneqash swooped upsides Misty Grey and quickly made his way to the front in the dying strides of the contest, leaving Misty Grey backers feeling a little hard-done-by in finishing second; a solid run from Oscula was good enough for third place. Having to showcase all his skills in the saddle to lift this one home, David Egan is certainly a jockey to follow having recently tasted Group 1 success for the first time aboard Mishriff in the 2021 Juddmonte International Stakes. Congratulations, David!
Race 5 – GBR Everyone’s Turf Handicap Stakes (Class 3, 3yo, 1m 6 ½f)
Just the four runners lined up for the fifth race of the afternoon, but the Roodee crowd were spoiled with a very impressive winner in the shape of the 10/11F Soul Stopper, who careered away to win by 4 ¾ lengths, never looking in any danger. True to Johnston-trained runners, Choirmaster shot out of the gates into an early lead under David Egan, closely followed by Mister Camacho in second place, ahead of All About Alice and the early dweller Soul Stopper. With little change to the running order, Choirmaster led the quartet to the 2f marker, with only All About Alice looking to be struggling to go with those ahead of her. Soon after entering the home straight, Soul Stopper cruised into contention and quickly cleared away from Choirmaster, needing only a few shakes of the reigns to lengthen away by a couple of lengths a furlong from the finish. With the remaining trio having nothing left to offer by way of a late challenge, the race was left to Soul Stopper to run on powerfully in the closing stages and record a very stylish win for P J McDonald; his second winner of the day! A horse carrying very familiar silks, Soul Stopper is owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, who also achieved Group 1 glory in 2021 in the Haydock Sprint Cup with Emaraaty Ana!
Race 6 – Roodee Handicap Stakes (Class 4, 3yo, 6f)
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again! Having run two solid races in a row on the Roodee this season without winning, the line finally arrived at the right time for Roman Dragon in the Roodee Handicap Stakes, as the smart 3yo ran out a comfortable winner by 1 ¼ lengths as the 5/2JF. Always prominent from the outset, Roman Dragon raced on the outside of early leader Bang On The Bell for most of the contest, with the pair racing a couple of lengths ahead of Melayu Kingdom and the other 5/2JF Wonderful World; Giewont, Another Investment, and Beauzon brought up the rear. As the tempo increased shortly after the 2f marker, Roman Dragon showed a sharp turn of foot to snatch the lead from Bang On The Bell, quickly distancing himself from the field under another double-seeking jockey in Pierre-Louis Jamin. With Bang On The Bell having no more to offer, Melayu Kingdom was left to fight out the places with the staying-on Another Investment, neither of which able to mount a stern enough challenge to the new leader. With a furlong to go and no serious threat coming from behind, Roman Dragon was soon booted clear by his rider and kept on well in the final strides to win a shade cosily in the end. A double on the day for Pierre-Louis Jamin, his biggest success to date came in the 2021 Doncaster Stakes (Listed) aboard Flaming Rib, who recently finished second at Royal Ascot and is due to take part in the July Cup at Newmarket this afternoon!
Race 7 – Corbett Sports Handicap Stakes (Class 4, 4yo+, 1m 2 ½f)
The final race of the afternoon saw a Roodee winner of the season for winning owner Dr Marwan Koukash when his namesake The New Marwan kept on well in the dying strides to win by a length at odds of 7/1. The widest stall proved to be no hinderance for Barry McHugh aboard The New Marwan as the 5yo gelding darted across to lead on the inside rail, heading the pack in front of Urban War and Little Ted in close proximity; slowest away in rear came Angels Landing. The complexion of the race changed slightly at the halfway point, when Headingley was sharply pulled up by Alistair Rawlinson, with the rider having aggravated an old injury. However, still dictating the pace from the head of affairs, The New Marwan and Urban War were soon locked in battle a long way from home, jostling for the lead as they rounded the home turn. As the opposition weakened away and Urban War’s effort began to level out, Barry McHugh managed to steal a length on the field in the final 100 yards of the contest aboard The New Marwan and secured a smart double for himself on the day; the third jockey of the afternoon to do so. Another with a July Cup connection, Richard Fahey successfully trained two winners at Royal Ascot this year, including the controversial Norfolk Stakes winner The Riddler and Commonwealth Cup hero Perfect Power!
Race report by Adam Perkins
The British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (Class 4, 2yo)
Distance: 5f 15y | Prize: £11,546
The Clogau Tree of Life Fillies' Handicap Stakes (Class 2, 3+yo)
Distance: 6f 17y | Prize: £25,000
The Raymond & Kathleen Corbett Memorial City Plate Stakes (Class 1, 3yo+) (Listed Race)
Distance: 7f 1y | Prize: £51,000