The opening race of STAGBI’s British Championship Series was held at Haughfield on Sunday. Disappointingly there were insufficient entries to run separate divisions for Colts & Geldings and Fillies. Therefore, a combined race, with one filly and 6 geldings (plus one non-runner). The race proved to be fast and furious from start to finish. The race favourite ULTIMATUM was drawn 8, and as the gate left Rocker Laidler immediately committed his horse to challenge for a forward position. However, Ryan Inglis and the maiden FOLLOWTHESTARS (drawn 1) stepped out of the gate sweetly and held off Rocker’s early challenge. With Grant Cullen promptly closing the gap with THEONLYBAYINTHEVILLAGE, ULTIMATUM was left parked. Coming off the back stretch, Hugh Menzies wanted in on the action and made a move with MAKING CREDIT, but under pressure he broke as he swept three wide around them. As the horses went through the half mile, Hugh Menzies once again attempted to move three wide, but to no avail. FOLLOWTHESTARS was still at the head of affairs and travelling well. Despite a continuous challenge from ULTIMATUM, and a head-to-head battle on the home straight, FOLLOWTHESTARS held on by a head, with THEONLYBAYINTHEVILLAGE a close up third. Full results on BHRC Website
As this was a combined race, MAKING CREDIT the only filly in the race, was awarded £250 for the highest placed horse of the opposite sex to the winner.
FOLLOWTHESTARS, a four-year-old gelding by The Preacher Pan (US) and out of Judy Hall (CAN)/Astreos (CAN). Previously unplaced in 2 runs as a 2yo, finished 2nd in the Scottish Derby at Haughfield last year and placed at York twice this season. This was his first career win and only a tenth of a second slower than the days final. Connections will now hope that having found his winning way, he will follow in the hoof prints of his siblings Takemetothelimit (Art Professor), Star Attraction (Yankee Lariat) and Wasntexpectingthat (Art Professor).
Bred by Richard Walker, Owned and trained by Alf Swinbank. Congratulations to all the connections and he is certainly ‘one to watch’.
The Next STAGBI British Championship Race will be the re-scheduled 3yo race at Tir Prince on the 4th July.