CLONDOTY ALEX gave Champion Trainer Mark Wallis his second Coral Golden Sprint at Romford on Friday and in doing took his current winning tally to five from eight races.
The three-year-old son of Razaldazl Jayfkay has already won the 2016 East Anglian Derby and he added the popular £10,000-to-the-winner Category One annual to his CV with a powerful early-paced performance.
Wallis, who last year became Champion Trainer for the eighth time and won the Golden Sprint with Blonde Snapper in 2012, has hit the ground running this term.
At present, he is 210 points ahead at the top of the GBGB Trainers’ Table. The bandwagon will continue to keep moving along just nicely if the Towcester trainer’s runners continue in this vein.
Before the race most thought the draw would prove crucial in what was an extremely competitive contest and the fact that Clondoty Alex has been allocated the red jacket seemed to tilt the balance in his favour.
The market clearly felt that way and made Clondoty Alex the 6-4 favourite. They then bet 4-1 Ajlo Legalbeagle, 9-2 Hunter Ben, Diablo, 10-1 Chop Chop Mabel, 12-1 Barricane Hazard.
Patrick Janssens and Ernie Gaskin had two-thirds of the field. The Towcester-based Janssens was represented by Barricane Hazard and Diablo and Gaskin had Chop Chop Mabel and Hunter Ben.
At the break, the ultra-consistent starter Hunter Ben did what he does best by getting away to a sizzling start. Diablo, in trap two, began in his usual moderate style which created plenty of space up along the rail for Clondoty Alex. At the turn, Barricane Hazard moved off and hampered Ajlo Legalbeagle and, to a lesser extent, Chop Chop Mabel.
Hunter Ben led until the second bend at which point Clondoty Alex went ahead. The Ernie Gaskin-trained Hunter Ben kept on admirably but he was unable to contain Clondoty Alex who stayed on well to score by a shade over a length in 24.09sec (normal). Diablo ran well considering his poor start to take third place.
The eagerly awaited £3,000 Golden Match Race between Roxholme Magic and Rubys Rascal was the highlight of a tremendous card supporting the Coral Golden Sprint final.
There had been huge speculation in the weeks leading up to the match about how it might be run. Many thought we would see more in the early stages of the slow-to-go Roxholme Magic. Others, that the early speed of Rubys Rascal would enable the Mark Wallis-trained runner gain an unassailable lead. What happened was somewhere between the two.
The Hayley Keightly-trained Roxholme Magic started at 2-5 favourite with those who fancied the chances of Rubys Rascal able to avail themselves of 7-4. Ultimately, the bookies and punters got it spot on as marathon queen Roxholme Magic ran riot.
Rubys Rascal held the advantage for the best part of a circuit and a half but Roxholme Magic was never more than four lengths or so behind and, along the back straight for the second time, chose her moment to make her move.
What happened next was as impressive a display of power running and stamina as you are likely to see anywhere, as Roxholme Magic, in probably less than 200 metres, opened a gap of almost 14 lengths when beating Rubys Rascal in 46.59sec (normal).
It was hugely sporting of both sets of connections to agree to the match which raised £1,000 for the local home finding organisation.