Racing: Grandeur lives up to occasion for Good Friday first

 

To a brass band fanfare and roared on by the hordes who made it to Lingfield on time through Easter traffic jams, Viewpoint and teenager Cam Hardie made sporting history yesterday when they won the first race to be staged in Britain on a Good Friday.

Not everybody is happy about it, but it is hard to imagine the BHA decision to race on what was traditionally one of the few days off for the industry being reversed, as racegoers flocked to Lingfield and Musselburgh, thrilled to be freed from another traipse around Ikea.

Lingfield, in particular, with a sellout record crowd of close to 9,000 watching the richest all-weather racecard ever staged in Britain, has surely inked in a permanent Good Friday place in the calendar.

Viewpoint’s victory in the £50,000 opener was merely a taster for several far more valuable contests, culminating in the grandly named Easter Classic, worth £200,000.

On the way, the 2,000 Guineas entry Ertijaal justified odds-on favouritism in the seven-furlong race for three-year-olds. It was no more than a workmanlike display and it would take a giant leap of faith to believe that he could trouble Kingman at Newmarket, but William Haggas’s colt did leave the impression that he would be better suited by a step up to a mile.

Ever more boisterous, punters had more to shout about when the heavily backed market leader Litigant dug deep to land the Marathon. The six-year-old’s connections won more than five times in prize-money than they laid out for him at the sales last year.

The 78-rated Living The Life, bought for comparative peanuts as a yearling, had already provided a rags-to-riches tale in the Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes, while also benefiting from an enterprising front-running ride from Adam Kirby, the all-weather champion jockey for the second successive year.

But after Alben Star and Captain Cat had both pounced late to win the Sprint and the Mile respectively, it was the classiest animal on show, the 117-rated Grandeur, who appropriately had the last say on a famous afternoon, although he made hard work of winning.

A wonderful season for Jamie Moore, peaking when Sire De Grugy won the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month, could get even better this afternoon when he partners Kian’s Delight (2.05  Haydock) in the Levy Board Handicap Chase.

Moore, who teamed up with Kian’s Delight’s trainer, Peter Bowen, to win last Saturday’s Scottish Grand National on Al Co, rides this progressive six-year-old for the first time and hopes are high following a most encouraging comeback run at Aintree.

The David Pipe-trainedHeath Hunter (2.40 Haydock) was a warm order for a competitive handicap at Ascot last time, but aggressive tactics backfired as he ran out of steam on the soft ground. Under less testing underfoot conditions today, he looks well worth another chance in the Grassroots Series Final.

For more information about racehorse ownership visit Own1.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own