Racing: Common World to sound a fanfare for Redcar

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager / New Product Manager

£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company mission is to be th...

Recruitment Genius: Software Tester

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Tester is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Developer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The Company sells mobile video advertising sol...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have a vacancy within our ra...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project