Mekong makes light of bad conditions for valuable handicap win at Haydock

Stoute stayer on the up

  • Saturday 08 September
  • News
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Mekong ploughed through the mud to land a facile success in the Read Luke Morris Blog At Unibet Handicap at Haydock.

Persistent rain meant conditions were testing on Merseyside, but that proved no problem to the Sir Michael Stoute-trained son of Frankel in the £100,000 contest.

Held up off the pace set by Natural History, Mekong (9-4 favourite) cruised into contention two furlongs out before pulling away to score by seven lengths from that rival in the hands of Ryan Moore. Elegiac was eight lengths away in third.

“He went through the ground. That was a big advantage,” said Stoute.

“He’s a promising staying horse. He’s been progressing of late.”

Stoute is no hurry to make plans for the three-year-old colt.

“Lets see how he takes this, because he’s had two races in 14 days,” he said.

Great Scot is to be aimed at the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster following his victory in the 32Red Ascendant Stakes.

Trainer Tom Dascombe believes the son of Requinto deserves his chance in next month’s Group One contest for two-year-olds at Doncaster after the 13-8 favourite proved two lengths too good for Floating Artist under Richard Kingscote in the Listed heat over a mile.

“He’s a very nice horse and has done everything we have asked of him – backwards,” said Dascombe


“He has pulled like hell, he hasn’t settled. He’s done everything wrong and still won.

“The idea was we were going to drop him out the back, hunt round and follow them through, but he was too keen as they’ve gone no gallop.

“The ground is bottomless, but he obviously handles fast ground and he was desperately unlucky to not to win on soft ground in France. That’s why we’re here now.

“He could be just a bit better. I think we’ll run him in the Racing Post Trophy. I think he deserves his chance in a proper race and we’ll see how we get on.”

Reshoun enjoyed the extreme conditions to run out a convincing winner of the 32Red Casino Handicap.

The Ian Williams-trained four-year-old had failed to figure in four previous starts this term, but showed his true colours in the testing ground.

Cruising into the lead over a furlong and a half out, the 6-1 shot went on to score by three and a quarter lengths from Never Surrender in the hands of Jim Crowley.

“He’s won well. The ground is the key to him. He disappointed at Epsom earlier and then the track didn’t suit at Ripon,” said Williams.

“He didn’t run badly at York, but today he’s enjoyed it and travelled so well. The great thing about him is he switches off.

“He’s gone and done it nicely and I’m sure he’ll have a good autumn.”

Fanny Norton was impressed with the victory of the Michael Dods-trained Intense Romance in the Unibet Be Friendly Handicap.

Norton said of the 5-2 favourite: “Everything was straightforward. They told me if you got trapped and got into a battle she’d come out on top, but I never got into a battle.

“As soon as I let her out, off she went. It was a good performance.”

Oisin Murphy rounded off a fine afternoon when taking the concluding EBF Breeders’ Series 32Red Fillies’ Handicap with Lorelina for Andrew Balding.

The 6-5 favourite made it a treble on the card for Murphy and a double for Balding.

Mekong makes light of bad conditions for valuable handicap win at Haydock
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