Racing: Common World to sound a fanfare for Redcar
Saturday 25 March 2006
Until today, unpretentious Redcar has had limited claims as an attraction. The seaside venue was once host to the Andy Capp Handicap, eponymously punning the Daily Mirror's cloth-capped cartoon northerner. The town's twin resort, Marske, gave its name to the sire of the immortal racehorse and stallion Eclipse. On a clear day the Cleveland Hills provide distant scenery, but look the other way and the backdrop is a Teesside chemical works.
Redcar racing started two centuries ago on the sands at Coatham. The modern field of play is flanked by housing estates; appropriately, in the one half-way down the straight, just beyond the allotments and the cemetery, the semi-detacheds in Newmarket Road have a racecourse at the bottom of their gardens.
This afternoon the residents will get a free look at the most prestigious card staged at Redcar in its 134-year history. For the first, and possibly last, time the Flat turf season starts in earnest in its no-nonsense surroundings. Doncaster has the builders in, so the 152nd Lincoln Handicap and three other traditional start-of-term events have been transplanted from Yorkshire's most southerly course to its northernmost.
Despite Redcar's ordinariness, it has a priceless asset. It is one of only eight courses in the country with a straight mile and a fair one at that, with no marked draw bias. Unlike on Town Moor, the 30 runners will all have the opportunity of giving their supporters a run for their money.
Redcar is the Lincoln's fifth home; as well as on the Carholme, where it started life, and Doncaster, it has been run at Lingfield and Pontefract. But finding the winner is difficult anywhere. Proportionally, the race has produced more long-priced winners than any other big handicap; 55, or 41 per cent, have started at 20-1 or longer, including three at 100-1.
Today's prize may be marked for export to Ireland. Common World (3.15), trained by Tom Hogan in Co Tipperary, will be suited by the prevailing easy ground, which may be further softened if forecast overnight rain arrives. The seven-year-old improved through last season, stepping up to produce some good performances in minor Group company, and can go two better than last year, when he was poorly drawn.
Next on the shortlist is Kamanda Laugh, who ran a fine trial on dirt at Wolverhampton two weeks ago, with Zero Tolerance, another soft-ground specialist, also worthy of consideration.
Redcar will enjoy its day in the spotlight but a more permanent new era dawns at Kempton today as the Sunbury track opens for all-weather business. Ouija Board recently gave the new surface her approval with her pre-Nad Al Sheba workout but there is nothing running today fit to polish the nails in her shoes. In a selection of maidens and handicaps Blushing Thief (5.15) can continue his reinvention as a sprinter.
Better may be seen at the Curragh tomorrow, on the first day of the Irish Flat season, when Aidan O'Brien gets some of his Classic prospects out at the earliest opportunity, subject to the heavy ground passing his scrutiny. Chenchikova, high in the Oaks lists on the strength of winning her maiden at Tipperary last year and owning an impeccable pedigree - she is High Chaparral's baby sister - has nine rivals in the mile Group Three and Amadeus Mozart, runner-up to his stablemate George Washington, the 2,000 Guineas favourite, in a Group One last term, takes on 25 in the six-furlong maiden.
Latest in Sport
UFC 190 Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia: What time does it start and where can I watch it, plus Mauricio Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Have Liverpool found the next Luis Suarez? Reds give trial to Uruguayan wonderkid Juan Manuel Sanabria
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho
Ashes 2015: Mitchell Johnson goads England fans as Edgbaston crowd shows little mercy for Australia
- 1 National Orgasm Day: Six reasons (plus one bogus one) why they're good for us
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Doctor Who: Christopher Eccleston says why he left the BBC series after just one series
- 5 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dies: Wrestling legend dies aged 61, according to reports
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...