POPULAR veteran Franny Norton is nipping back up north to Redcar in between riding at Royal Ascot – suggesting he may fancy his chances at the seaside track tomorrow (Friday).
The 50-year-old former champion boxer, whose career in the saddle has been rejuvenated since linking up with Mark Johnston, is due back at Ascot on Saturday, having also been in action at the Royal meeting today (Thursday).
It’s noteworthy that he’s sandwiching in a Friday trip to Redcar where he has four booked rides, including three for the Middleham maestro, who won Redcar’s first race of the season with Headingley in April (see picture)
One of Norton’s rides for Johnston is Forest Falcon, who goes for the Free Month of Racing TV Straight Mile Handicap, instead of taking up an entry in today’s Britannia Stakes at Ascot.
The three-year-old has been gelded since finishing last of six at Newmarket last time and the Ascot entry suggests he may be ready to bounce back to form in a race where the pickings should be easier.
The eight-race card gets underway at 1pm with the Start Your RacingTV Free Month Selling Stakes, and Karl Burke looks to have the answer in Sapphire’s Moon, who sets the standard based on her two runs so far.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Newmarket raiders are always to be feared when they venture north and his Tiger Beetle will be a popular choice in the Try Racing TV For Free Now Novice Stakes, with Redcar specialist David Allan in the saddle.
The colt, by Derby winner Camelot, was clear of the rest when second in a Goodwood maiden a fortnight ago and looks primed to go one better.
Boltaway looked progressive when winning a Doncaster handicap last time and Roger Charlton’s colt, in the famous Juddmonte colours, can defy a 6lbs penalty in the Racing TV Free For A Month Handicap under Paul Mulrennan.
Fresh from a double at Ripon, North Yorkshire trainer David O’Meara can continue the good run with top-weight Mythical Madness in the racingtv.com/freemonth Claiming Stakes. The 10-year-old was sent down to Epsom for his last run and, although down the field, has a decent chance if returning to his best form.
Derbyshire trainer John Mackie has a 19 per cent strike rate on turf this season and his Available Angel was an eye-catching 50-1 second at Leicester last time out. The filly can make the most of bottom weight in the Watch Race Replay At racingtv.com Handicap (Division 1).
Sovereign Moon, trained by David Brown, relished the fast ground when a good second at Catterick 14 days ago and can get her nose in front in the Watch Race Replay At racingtv.com Handicap (Division 2).
Malton handler Tim Easterby can round off the card by taking the Come Racing Again Tomorrow Maiden Handicap with Albegone, who has been running consistently, including a second against older sprinters in a Thirsk handicap last time. First-time cheekpieces could make the difference.
- Redcar is racing again on Saturday, with the first of seven scheduled races at 1.20pm. All tickets for both meetings must be bought in advance.