Rapid Rodriguez off the mark at Hamilton Park

Frankie Dettori smiles at Ascot racecourse. Picture: Getty Images
Frankie Dettori smiles at Ascot racecourse. Picture: Getty Images
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Callum Rodriguez rode his first winner on just his third ride as Insolenceofoffice got the better of Chookie’s Lass in the Winning Groundstaff Team Apprentice Handicap at Hamilton Park yesterday.

The 18-year-old is based with the winner’s Garstang trainer Richard Ford and hails from nearby Lancaster.

Rodriguez said: “I’ve been with Richard since I was 14 on work experience and it’s amazing to get my first win. I don’t come from a racing family and all the top jockeys are my heroes.”

Ford, who also led up Insolenceofoffice, added: “I’m chuffed to bits for Callum as he’s a good lad and this horse is an absolute superstar – he owes his owners nothing.”

Patrick Holmes, in his sixth year with a dual-purpose licence, saddled his first double with Munjally and Voice From Above.

Munjally, bred in the Borders at Eildon Hill Stables and a second winner from as many runners for her dam Parabola, took the Weatherbys Private Banking Handicap for Neil Farley and the winning trainer said: “He didn’t appear to be but it seems a sprinter is what he is and his best run for Richard Hannon was on softish ground at Leicester.”

Joey Haynes and Voice From Above completed a 134-1 double for the Middleham trainer 30 minutes later when scooping the concluding LIB (Ladies In Business) Lunch Handicap for the second year running.

Yesterday’s fixture at Hamilton Park was named ‘The Winning Groundstaff Team Raceday’ in recognition of George Murdoch and his team scooping the RCA Top Flat Racecourse award for 2014.

Meanwhile, American ace California Chrome satisfied connections in a workout at Ascot yesterday morning – but Frankie Dettori will not ride the colt at the Royal meeting.

Last season’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, trained by Art Sherman, was put through his paces over seven furlongs in the hands of Dettori ahead of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on 17 June.

California Chrome has been in the care of Newmarket handler Rae Guest since he finished second in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March.

But with Dettori set to ride John Gosden’s Western Hymn at the Royal meeting, the four-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit requires a jockey.

Art Sherman’s son and assistant, Alan, said: “At this moment it doesn’t look like Frankie Dettori will ride him.

“I don’t think Victor [Espinoza, California Chrome’s regular jockey in America] will be coming over but we’ve got a few 
European options.”

Dettori said: “At this stage, Western Hymn is running and I will be riding him.

“Of course I regard him as a threat [to Western Hymn], you only have to look at his CV. He’s a great horse and we know that he’s won on turf so he’s going to be a big player.”