Briardale set for Royal Ascot after Racing UK Zetland Gold Cup procession

Monday 29 May 2017

BRIARDALE, trained in North Yorkshire by James Bethell, is bound for Royal Ascot after turning a competitive-looking Racing UK Zetland Gold Cup into a procession at Redcar today.

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The five-year-old bay gelding trounced the field, with Paul Hanagan bring him home six lengths ahead of fellow Middleham raider, Mark Johnston’s Rainbow Rebel.

Briardale, who was impressive in winning at Newcastle last month, needed to win the Redcar handicap to get into the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot and that is now the target.

“It’ll be a different ball game but you can’t win it if you’re not in it and he’s won today’s race so well, why not give it a go?”

Bethell, who last won the Zetland Gold Cup with Abercata way back in 1978, knows what it takes to win the Royal Hunt Cup, having won the Ascot cavalry charge with the popular Mine in 2004.

Briardale is owned by John and Ann Carrick, of Bedale, and Clarendon Thoroughbred Racing. Mr Carrick said: “He was very impressive and now we’re dreaming of Royal Ascot.”

Mark Johnston was aiming for a hat-trick of Zetland Gold Cup wins but had to make do with the runners-up slot this time.

His son and assistant Charlie gave an upbeat assessment of Dante winner Permian ahead of Saturday’s Derby.

“He’s come out of the race really well and he ticks all the boxes. He’ll stay the distance, he won’t mind any going, and he’s been round the track so we have to be hopeful.

“William Buck’s been up to get a feel of him. They didn’t do much but everyone was really happy. We go there with a live chance and that’s great.”

Earlier at Redcar, there were lots of happy faces in the winner’s enclosure after Cornborough took The Market Cross Jewellers Handicap Stakes.

Owned by the Cornborough Racing Club and trained at Sheriff Hutton in North Yorkshire by Mark Walford, the chestnut Sir Percy gelding held on gamely under a fine ride from Jason Hart to take the prize from Jabbaar.

Cornborough syndicate member Matt Brown said: “He hasn’t won for three years and got bumped at Nottingham but Jason’s given him a peach of a ride.”

Favourite Visitant looked an unlucky loser after enduring a nightmare run in fourth under Andrew Mullen and is worth another try.

A competitive opener was won by David O’Meara’s improving Chatburn, who was too good for Richard Fahey’s previous winner Bengali Boys and Michael Dods’ Wahoo.

Racing is back at Redcar on tomorrow (Tuesday, May 30) with a seven-race card starting at 2pm.


Briardale comes into the winner's enclosure with Paul Hanagan in the saddle

Lord Zetland presents the Racing UK Zetland Gold Cup to the connections of Briardale

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