BARON RUN was a fitting winner of a thrilling feature race on the final Hamilton Park card of the season as he posted his fifth success at the Lanarkshire track.
Under Joey Haynes, Karl Burke’s gelding pipped Classy Anne by neck in the McTear’s Auctioneers Handicap with Alexandrakollontai the same margin back in third.
Burke’s daughter and assistant Kelly said: “He’s never won anywhere else and he’s just a different horse here – he loves the place. When he can get out and away he’s very hard to catch coming up that hill.”
Bryan Smart saddled a 408-1 double that featured a stunning 50-1 (Tote £73.20) shock win for Feel The Heat in the Jack Webster Classified Claiming Stakes.
The Hambleton trainer said: “He has had his ground for the first time but I must admit I didn’t have a shilling on him. He’s been tubed for a long time as he’s always had problems with his wind. It’s an operation that is banned now but I doubt he would have managed to win races without it. He’s a great lead horse at home for all the babies.”
Straightothepoint supplied the first leg of Smart’s spectacular double when landing the Marie Curie Glasgow Hospice Auction Nursery Handicap in the hands of Paul Mulrennan. There was also a 14-1 winning nap for The Scotsman as Queens Park won the Avia Signs Handicap for jockey PJ McDonald and trainer John Davies, while Irish Girls Spirit made in two wins in as many days when she took the opening Marie Curie Cancer Care Handicap for rider Graham Lee – 24 hours after scoring at Musselburgh on Sunday.
In Paris, meanwhile, connections of Treve were pleased to see some rain fall yesterday ahead of her bid to retain her Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe crown at Longchamp on Sunday.
The Criquette Head-Maarek-trained filly was an impressive winner of Europe’s premier middle-distance prize last October, but has had her fair share of problems since then and has yet to hit the heights in any of her three starts this year. However, she is reported to have done everything right since her latest run in the Prix Vermeille, when she was fourth to Baltic Baroness.
“Treve is in good form. They had rain in Paris today, so the more of that the better as far as making it good or on the easier side of good, which would suit her best,” said Harry Herbert, manager to owners Al Shaqab Racing. “They have had a little bit of rain and it all helps, but Criquette reports her to be very well and fingers crossed we’re nearly there. There’s no way I’ve lost faith in her. If she gets her ground and she will have needed the run last time as well – hopefully she will go to the Arc spot on.”
Al Shaqab have an equally strong contender as part-owners in the Elie Lellouche-trained Ectot, who burst into the picture with a smart performance to win the Prix Niel on his first try at a mile and a half after a five-month lay-off. “Ectot worked this morning and did it very nicely. It was his last gentle piece before the weekend,” said Herbert. “I thought it was a bold move to run him over a mile and a half by Elie first time after a lay-off. It said a lot about the horse. He was very impressive and will come on a lot for that run, match-fitness wise.
“He showed a terrific turn of foot. I was impressed.”