Saturday 20 May 2017

IT’S hard to remember a busier start to the season for Redcar and the trend continues with the seaside track’s third eight-race card out of four on Monday.

Fresh from York’s big Dante meetings, some of the country’s most in-form jockeys and trainers are heading to the popular North-East course for the pre-cursor to the Zetland Gold Cup on May 29.

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Classic-winning jockey Andrea Atzeni, pictured, and Newmarket trainer Roger Varian teamed up at York on Friday to win with the class filly Tomyris, who staked a claim for the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot with a smooth win on the Knavesmire.

And it’s hard to ignore the fact that the combination have just one runner at Redcar with Sheikh Mohammed’s unraced Oasis Dream filly Uae Queen in the Pat and Les Holmes Celebration Maiden Fillies Stakes at 3.10.

That said, they have strong opposition from Isabel’s On it and Spinnaka, trained respectively at Newmarket by William Haggas and Luca Cumani.

Derby-winning handler Haggas looks to have an outstanding chance with another newcomer, Yaarmen, owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum and ridden by Dane O’Neill, in the Racing UK Profits Returned To Racing Media Auction Stakes at 4.40. The Nayef gelding has Richard Hughes’ Patchwork as his main rival.

Former champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa has a busy afternoon ahead, as does northern-based jockey Paul Mulrennan, who is enjoying a flying start to the season.

One of the bets of the day looks to be Dakota Gold, trained by Michael Dods (also pictured), near Darlington, in the Handicap at 3.40. The Equiano gelding won over five furlongs at Thirsk in April despite dwelling on the stalls and being hampered at the start. He teams up again with winning rider Connor Beasley and the combination must surely go close again.

Veteran Malton trainer Mick Easterby and his 3lb claimer Nathan Evans have been in prolific form at Redcar so far this season and the pair look to have another winning chance with Chaucer’s Tale in the 5.10.

Mark Johnston is dreaming of Derby glory following Permian’s victory in the Dante at York last week and the booking of Dane O’Neill for the Middleham maestro’s course winner Khamarry catches the eye in the 4.10. The filly looks to have Hugo Palmer’s First Moon to eclipse.

The gates will open to the public at 12 noon with the first race at 2.10pm and the last race at 5.40pm. A dry day is expected, with good to firm going after watering the course.

Meanwhile, general manager Amy Fair reports strong pre-bookings for one of Redcar's highlights, the Zetland Gold Cup on Bank Holiday Monday, May 29.

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