Horse Racing with Jason Hall

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LEWES trainer Mark Hoad took a body blow earlier in the year when his flagship performer Mafeking suffered a fatal heart attack on the gallops, but, despite this adversity, Mark continues to keep his string ticking over and is scouring the Sales books for a replacement or two to emulate the consistent achievement of his former multiple winning all weather specialist.

“I was in the last stages of preparing Mafeking for a trip over to France and he went out for his regular piece of work during which he died,” he said.

“It was a setback for us but I have got some orders for horses and will be working hard to find some new blood to lead the yard. I like to go to the Newmarket Sales and will probably be looking for some three-years-olds I can develop.”

At Brighton on Tuesday afternoon, Mark ran Doctor Hilary in the opening sprint and found some real encouragement that the nine-year-old could break his duck for the season in the not too distant future.

“It was his first run at Brighton and I was concerned pre-race that the course might be a problem.

“That is how it turned out to be but he ran on late in the piece and I don’t think his turn is too far off, especially back on a more conventional track.

He is in at Lingfield on Saturday but won’t run as I have C’Mon You Irons lined up for that race. There is plenty of rain forecast for the weekend and if it comes he will be competitive.

He is a bit moody and likes to have his own way but if he gets the run of the race he is handicapped to go very well on a track he has won on. Ian Mongan will take the ride.”

If the conditions Mark has outlined do materialise and a strong performance by C’Mon You Irons is forthcoming, it would be a timely boost for the Hoad team.

Local jockey Jamie Goldstein managed a winner and a second at Brighton this week and the win further reinforced his burgeoning relationship with the Epsom trainer Ralph Smith. Coincidentally, Jamie’s winner came aboard a horse called Come On You Irons.

The application of a tongue tie and the benefit of a confident ride resulted in a decisive victory and continues Goldstein’s hot run of form.

There is no racing in Sussex now until the first day of the Glorious Goodwood Festival in 10 or so days’ time.

The five days of this superb meeting are widely anticipated every season and Ryan Moore will be going into the week with high hopes of reinforcing his position in the race to reclaim his crown of Champion Jockey.

Such are mine and many others’ expectations of Ryan, it seems to me that, despite the fact he has registered Group One success this season, I feel a few races have got away from him and that the campaign has been a bit of a damp squib to date.

It’s not an easy opinion to justify as for some riders’ similar achievement would have them breaking out the champagne.

I would point to the defeats of Carlton House, So You Think and Workforce in recent weeks, a blank in the Classics and the lack of a high profile handicap winner at one of the big summer Festivals as a means to justify my point.

When people mention the word greatness and comparisons are made with Piggot, Cauthen and Carson, you cannot afford to fall short. I am confident the second half of the season will see balance restored, the breaks falling the way of the Brighton-born jockey and his talent properly rewarded.