Destroyer victory has Tuite looking ahead with 'best bunch I have ever had'
After missing much of last season Dark Destroyer is making up for lost time as he followed up last month’s Kempton victory by taking the 7f handicap in good style.
Despite being trapped out wide from an unfavourably high draw, the three-year-old was manoeuvred through by John Egan and got the better of Sidewinder by three-quarters of a length.
Winning trainer Joe Tuite said: “He's a very nice horse who we've thought the world of from the start, but he was coughing for a hobby last spring and early summer so we didn't get him to the racetrack until it was all over.
“I think seven furlongs is perfect for him but he'll get a mile and hopefully will be as good or better on the turf this summer. There's a race for him at Newbury in the middle of next month and all being well he'll run there.”
Looking ahead to the Flat turf season, Tuite added: “I think I've got the best bunch of horses I've ever had, including eight two-year-olds, who we can hopefully crack on with straight away as long as they stay well as healthy horses win races and unhealthy ones don’t.”
Williams continues good form
Ian Williams is operating at a strike-rate of around 30 per cent right now and added to those impressive statistics after Monjeni came from last to first in the 1m6f handicap.
The four-year-old, partnered by Stevie Donohoe, was short of room on the home bend but found a route close to the stands’ side rail in the straight and lengthened nicely to lead close home.
Williams said: “All the horses are running well, which must be good timing with the turf season about to get going this weekend. This horse has had to do it the hard way even though there were only four runners.
“We'll stick with the Flat with Monjeni for now but there's every chance he'll jump a hurdle in the autumn. He has a 'for sale' sign on him if anybody wants a nice horse for the summer and beyond.”
Count on me
Being a son of Frankel, much is expected of the Andrew Balding-trained Count Octave and he managed to get his head in front at the second time of asking when overcoming greenness to land the 1m4f maiden.
His rider David Probert said: “They didn't go any gallop, which did not really help my cause at all and he was still a bit babyish when the question was popped. But he'll have learnt from the experience and is definitely going the right way.”
In the slow lane
Clerk of the course Fergus Cameron questioned whether any race at the track had been slower since the Tapeta surface was laid than Spiritual Star, who took the opening 1m1/2f apprentice handicap in a time almost ten seconds outside Racing Post standard.
Sayle of the century
William Sayle cost 100,000gns and made his first down payment on that outlay when landing the 1m1/2f maiden, which carried first place prize-money of just over £2,500.
Thought for the day
The year is advancing and it’s time to get ready for racecourse concerts - Wolverhampton are no different, with The Human League playing live on September 9.