Raatea enters Royal Ascot reckoning for Camacho team

Raatea may have earned himself a place on Julie Camacho’s small but select squad for Royal Ascot with victory in the Sky Bet Reverence Handicap at Haydock.

The six-year-old carries the colours of Martin Hughes, a part-owner of the yard’s stable star Shaquille, who is a major contender for Group One honours in Ascot’s Commonwealth Cup.

Raatea is not of that standard, but is undoubtedly a talented sprinter in his own right and following a fifth-placed finish on his reappearance at Newmarket, he stepped up on Merseyside to land odds of 13-2 in the hands of James Doyle.

Camacho’s husband and assistant, Steve Brown, said: “In fairness to Jason Hart, who rode him at Newmarket where he finished fifth in a really competitive race, he said he thought he’d really benefit from cheekpieces and you could see the difference today with how he travelled.

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“James said he’d have kicked himself had he got beat as he actually got there too soon and the horse thought he’d done enough.

“There’s no doubt he’s a horse with plenty of ability and he’s done well for us, but we’ve always had it at the back of our minds that he could have done a touch better.

“We’ll have a chat with Martin and see what he’d like to do, but the ability is there to be taking part in good races. He has his own ideas, but when he’s good, he’s good.

“He’s in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot. He’s obviously got a penalty now, whether that’s enough to get in I don’t know, but I’m sure Martin would be delighted if he could run.

“In fairness, the stiff six at Ascot is his gig as he’s a six-and-a-half-furlong horse really.”

Cumulonimbus (left) and Harry Davies made all the running at Haydock
Cumulonimbus (left) and Harry Davies made all the running at Haydock (Nigel French/PA)

The Charlie Fellowes-trained Cumulonimbus (6-1) led from pillar to post in the Better Betting With Sky Bet Handicap under a well-judged ride from Harry Davies.

The four-year-old made every yard of the running when scoring at Newmarket last month and repeated the tactics on Merseyside, dominating from the front and keeping enough up his sleeve to repel the challenge of the long-absent Live Your Dream by half a length.

“The ground is rattling out there today, it was actually a concern for me but it was no problem for him,” said Davies.

“I managed to get a very easy lead on the front end. I hacked round really until we got to the four-furlong marker and I just sprinted away.

“He’s very gutsy and he’s improving, so it’s great.”

Chartwell House came home in splendid isolation at Haydock
Chartwell House came home in splendid isolation at Haydock (Nigel French/PA)

Chartwell House was an emphatic winner of the Sky Bet Extra Places Every Day Handicap for trainer William Knight and jockey Neil Callan.

The 5-2 shot controlled affairs from the start of the seven-furlong contest and after kicking clear it was all over, with four lengths separating him and his rivals at the line despite Callan easing down.

“He’s actually been a difficult horse, just because he’s strong and he hangs and he’s been a little bit wayward. I think it just because of his nerves,” said the jockey.

“On his first run of the year at Newmarket I could barely hold him and he did well to finish third. I didn’t ride him in his next couple of races, but he’s come here and I think this track suits him because rather than thinking about getting him to relax, you can let him bowl along and enjoy himself.

“He really enjoyed it today, I kicked before they came at him because I didn’t want to give him an excuse to pull up and he stretched out and got the distance well.”

The concluding Betting Better With Sky Bet Sankey Handicap went the way of Simon and Ed Crisford’s Choisya, who gained compensation for a narrow reversal at Goodwood last month by edging out
Venetian to prevail by a short head.

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