The Summer racing season might be coming towards a close but there's still some big race days on the calendar to enjoy. At Doncaster on Saturday we have the last of the classics with the St Leger but The Racing Horse takes in the TWO BIG RACE DAYS IN ONE BIG WEEKEND at the Bath Racecourse. This racecourse has recently undergone a multi-million pound development project which promised to significantly improve the experience for customers across the racecourse whilst cementing itself as one of the country's best small racecourses where the excitement is guaranteed. The meeting takes on extra personal significance because I am Bath born and bred and, despite registering over a 100 visits, have not seen the new refurbishments.
Speaking to a Bath Racecourse Spokesman today they said: "We are getting excited for our last full weekend of racing and have some big finals on the card for both Saturday and Sunday. All eyes will be on the 3.55pm on Saturday for the Series Final of our Summer Staying Series, with the final of the Sprint Series taking place on Sunday at 3.45pm. There's good money at stake in each of our three big races, with prize funds of £21,000 for each. And with a total prize fund of £124,000 across the weekend, it's set to be an exciting couple of days!"
COMEC GENTLEMAN'S DAY
Saturday is Comec Gentleman's Day which presents an opportunity to enjoy racing with dapper outfits, great food and drink, and cash prizes in the Best Dressed competition. It also features the £20,000 final of The Summer Stayers' Series which is a new initiative started in 2016 as a way of rewarding the loyalty showed by owners and trainers who frequent the track with their horses. How it works is the horses who gain most points depending on their results throughout the Series gain the greatest protection from elimination thus encouraging participation. This confirms Bath's commitment to supporting grass roots racing in the area.
DETAILED LOOK at the SUMMER STAYERS' SERIES
The Racing Horse will be providing a detailed look at the race and offering a 1-2-3 with a rationale to be published Friday night 15th September for Betting Insiders. As we go to post on Tuesday morning there remains 15 entries for this Class 2 race ran over 1m5f11y and the ground is almost certainly going to be soft and this changes the dynamics.
In this Summer Stayer's Series there is a big mix of types entered from those rated 79 down to those rated just 43 and the age of these horses range from 3yo to 11yo and before analysing the race on Friday we look at a few of the suspects now.
MALCOLM SAUNDERS a STALWART of BATH RACECOURSE
Malcolm Saunders sends most of his runners to Bath and does very well there with his small string. In the past 5 years he has sent 147 to Lansdown and returned to Green Ore in Somerset with 29 winners for a 20% strike-rate. His horses are always trying to win or place there and another 62 finish second, third or fourth showing a win level stake profit of +3.16pts profit. He has an entry in the feature race on Saturday but will he run him if the going is soft? Fittingly, he has a race named after him on the Sunday with the 5f Malcolm Saunders Nursery Handicap (Class 5) (2yo 0-75).
Saunders owns and trains the 11yo SUNNY FUTURE who has raced 76 times and 26 times at Bath, winning 5 races, coming second on 4 occasions and 5 times in third-place winning £27,540 in total prize money. He has only won at one other course and that is Salisbury where he has won 6 times from 25 races for £27,330. Can he win this good race? No, he cannot and not because of his age, he does not like soft ground and has never won on ground softer than good to soft, in fact 10 of his 11 wins have been on fast ground. Saunders had told us previously at Salisbury that his horse loves the top of the ground and the reason he likes Bath and Salisbury is because the horse does not like travelling.
There is just so much rain about the going is almost certain to be soft or heavy at Bath this weekend.
HOPE IS HIGH THRIVING for JOHN BERRY
There are a few course and distance winners entered and one of them is the consistent HOPE IS HIGH for John Berry. This 4yo filly is looking for a hat-trick of wins and is clearly thriving for this trainer. Under David Simcock the filly ran three times for 000, under Berry's tutelage she is 213344123211. Given the St Leger is taking place we presume Silvestre De Sousa will be in South Yorkshire, he is 13211 when accompanying this filly. Will she like soft ground? We do not think so, she has won on good to soft but clearly her optimum ground is very fast. So who is the early favourite?
ALL EYES are on the PROGRESSIVE DUKINTA
If she runs (and we think she will) all eyes will be on the top-rated 3yo Dubawi filly DUKINTA who runs for Hugo Palmer. She is very much unexposed with just 5 runs under her belt. Significantly she is a course winner on soft ground over this distance, she looks the one to beat. Yes it was only a modest class 6 staying handicap she won in August but she looked a real improver switching to handicaps and going up in distance, and she took her rivals apart (won by 8l) in a first-time visor. She will need to show the headgear works as well a second time. The trainer is in form, he had a nice price double on Saturday and a 14/1 second place and Palmer is 5-8 for 63% at Bath for a massive level stake profit of +27.04pts.
SUNDAY is FAMILY FUN RACEDAY
On Sunday it is Family Fun Raceday where the organisers advise to come early to enjoy a popular Family Fun Raceday and take advantage of the free children's entertainment. If the weather is clement bring a picnic. There will be inflatables, pony rides, face painting and in addition before racing Bath Racecourse will be hosting two Pony Racing Authority pony races with all the excitement of the big races but on a smaller scale. Under 18s go FREE, with adults from only £18!
Bath is a generally undulating left-handed track with sharp bends and a long uphill run-in.
Gates open at 11.30am with the first rae at 1.35pm and the last race at 5.05pm.
Bath Racecourse, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 9BU Tel: 01225 424609 Fax: 01225 444415 or visit:
Conveniently located two miles north of the city centre, Bath Racecourse is just six miles south of Junction 18 of the M4 Motorway and is well sign-posted from all major routes to its location on Lansdown Hill. The Bath Racecourse Shuttle Bus costs £4 for a single journey and £5 for a return ticket. The bus picks up from Manvers Street (Stop Bf) outside Bath Spa train station.
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