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Wednesday’s evening fixtures brought forward to avoid England clash

Wednesday’s evening fixtures at Bath and Kempton have been switched to earlier starts to avoid clashing with England’s Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark.

The crunch clash at Wembley kicks off at 8pm, with Bath initially scheduled to race until 8.35pm and Kempton’s last contest programmed for 8.50pm.

However, following applications from the owners of both tracks, Arena Racing Company and Jockey Club Racecourses respectively, both cards will now be completed before the game kicks off, with Bath’s last race at 7.35pm and Kempton’s closer at 7.45pm.

Harry Kane was England's hero in Rome on Saturday night
Harry Kane was England’s hero in Rome on Saturday night (Marco Iacobucci/PA)

A statement from the British Horseracing Authority said: “Having received applications from both the Jockey Club and Arena Racing Company, the BHA has approved the alteration of race times at both Kempton Park and Bath on Wednesday evening to avoid a clash with England’s Euro 2020 semi-final match against Denmark.

“We wish Gareth Southgate and the England team the best of luck.”

Sarah’s Verse hits the right notes for Ron Harris at Bath

Sarah’s Verse became the first winner in Bath’s 2021 season when landing the CB Protection Handicap for trainer Ron Harris and apprentice Laura Pearson.

The Poet’s Voice filly dispelled Harris’ fears that she might want a longer trip by running on too strongly for Bluebell Time to score by a neck.

Of the 12-1 winner, Harris observed: “This meeting has proved lucky for me over the years and has done so again.

“The filly has done it well, but I thought she might want further. They went very quick, which helped her, and she’s shown more toe back on the grass than was the case on the all-weather.”

Blue Collar Lad and Sean Levey (centre) on the way to victory
Blue Collar Lad and Sean Levey (centre) on the way to victory (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The previous experience of Brocklesby Stakes third and fifth Wonderful World and Muskateer Three saw that pair dominate the market for the CB Protection Security Training Restricted Novice Stakes, a race run in a hail storm.

However, it was 16-1 newcomer Blue Collar Lad that took the spoils for trainer Robyn Brisland and jockey Sean Levey.

Wonderful World travelled kindly in front, but had a fight on his hands when challenged on both sides entering the final furlong, and ultimately failed to hold his rivals by a short head and half a length.

Levey praised the winning Arcadia colt, saying: “He kept on well and put his head down between two horses that had previous experience.

“Mr Brisland has done well to have him ready first time. I thought he had a good chance today.”

Levey completed a double when executing a waiting ride on the Jim Boyle-trained Marlay Park to perfection in the CB Protection Security Training Maiden Stakes.

The start was delayed by the reluctance of favourite Fernando Rah to load and he was finally withdrawn, leaving Khatwah to blaze the trail.

Alphonse Karr had wrested the lead approaching the distance but Major Force and then Marlay Park challenged, with the latter pulling a length and a half clear.

Boyle said: “He was recommended by Richard Hannon and will be a lovely fun horse for the owners. This was almost six furlongs, but I think he’ll have no trouble stepping up to seven.”

With three earning runs behind him in as many starts, Golden Flame set the standard in the CB Protection Event Specialists Maiden Stakes and duly hacked up as the 1-3 favourite under Adam Kirby.

The Mark Johnston-trained colt made all and coasted home five lengths clear of Going Gone, giving Kirby a timely boost following his defeat on Able Kane and disappointment that Fernando Rah failed to load.

The jockey said: “It’s been a bit of a kerfuffle, but it’s always nice to get a winner. He bowled along nicely and then lengthened from three and a half out all the way to the line.”

Kirby completed a double to share the riding honours with Levey when guiding 25-race maiden Quarry Beach (11-1) home in a blanket finish to the CB Protection Security Consultants Handicap.

The David Evans-trained mare got up in the final strides to score by half a length from Bounty Pursuit.

Kirby said: “I think she liked the track and handled the quick ground. It’s always good to ride a winner for David, he’s a top man.”

Clog Na Fola ended an 11-year wait for a winner on the Flat by owner Nick Ayliffe when gunning down Villanelle and foiling a gamble on that horse in the CB Protection Safety Officers Handicap.

The daughter of Sir Prancealot, trained by John O’Shea, emerged from the chasing pack to catch her rival and score at 9-1 under a fine ride by Ciaran McKee.

Clog Na Fola (centre) was a memorable winner for owner Nick Ayliffe
Clog Na Fola (centre) was a memorable winner for owner Nick Ayliffe (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

McKee said: “I’m very pleased for John and for Nick Ayliffe who is a very loyal owner. People like Nick are in it for the day out, but he’s stuck with us.”

King Of Stars (9-1) made a triumphant switch to turf from sand when denying the gambled-on Able Kane in the CB Protection Professional Security Systems Handicap.

The grey engaged in a controlled front-running display under Ali Rawlinson and kept on strongly to score by two and a quarter lengths.

He is a credit to trainer Mick Appleby, a point emphasised by Rawlinson who said: “He’s done well over the winter, showing plenty of speed at Southwell where the name of the game is to avoid the kickback. He’s got bags of speed and has improved for the switch to turf.

“He’s a good advertisement for Mick who gives a new lease of life to horses that join him. If he has the ammo, he will deliver.”

Egan puts Mishriff decision behind him with Traisha triumph

David Egan shrugged off losing the plum ride on Mishriff at Ascot on Saturday by steering Traisha to victory in the feature British Stallion Studs EBF Beckford Stakes at Bath.

Egan is retained by Prince Faisal, who has given the ride on the French Derby winner in the Qipco Champion Stakes to Frankie Dettori.

The young jockey put that behind him to take the Listed honours on Irish raider Traisha, trained by Joseph O’Brien.

“Frankie won on him (Mishriff) the last day when I wasn’t able to go due to a suspension, but hopefully I’ll have another good day on him sometime,” Egan told Sky Sports Racing.

“It’s part of racing. The Prince has been very good to me. He sent me to Saudi where I finished second on him and I won a nice race in Newmarket, so it’s been a good connection with the Prince and I’m still retained to him. It’s just on this occasion he decided to use Frankie and I respect his decision.

“For his horses, he pays a lot of money. His breeding operation is probably very important for this next ride so he wants the best in the business, so I can’t give out to myself being jocked off by the best.”

Egan showed his talent with a composed ride on Traisha (4-1), who bounded clear on the far side rail in the final furlong to land the Listed spoils by three lengths from Urban Artist.

“When the gap came two out, I either had to commit or wait sitting and I decided to go,” he said.

“She had a little look in the last furlong, but she is a very straight-forward filly and Joseph was confident beforehand.”

O’Brien said: “She has been consistent and progressive all year. It’s nice to win a stakes race with her. She’s a very well-bred filly.

“There’s a chance she might stay in training next year. The decision will be with the owners so we’ll wait and see, but there is a chance.”

Megan Nicholls revealed she has taken out a licence to ride over jumps after guiding Quel Destin (5-4 favourite) home for her father Paul in the Signs Express Handicap.

The 3lb-claiming apprentice did mix both codes earlier in her career, but has concentrated solely on the Flat since 2015.

“I will be here for the all-weather and also I’ve just got my jumps licence back out. It’s no big job, we’re not aiming for a National or anything like that, but hopefully for a few bumpers,” she said.

“I would ride over hurdles if Kev (partner, Kevin Stott) allows me. We’ll see what happens. The main thing is we’ll get going again on some of those bumper horses.

“Sometimes when the jumps are snowed off, they have jumpers bumpers at Lingfield, Kempton and Wolverhampton. I ride at those tracks a bit more regularly, so hopefully (I can) have a bit of fun with some of them.”

Murphy straight back to business with 100th winner of the season

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy made a successful return from suspension when bringing up his century for the season aboard The Kodi Kid in the opening race at Bath on Monday.

Murphy received a seven-day ban for careless riding after steering Tiritomba to victory at Ayr last month and was forced to sit out last week’s St Leger Festival at Doncaster and Longines Irish Champions Weekend as a result.

He appeared to have an excellent chance of making a winning comeback aboard Andrew Balding’s The Kodi Kid, who was the 11-10 favourite for the EBF Novice Auction Stakes off the back of finishing second on his first two starts at Chepstow and Sandown last month.

Supporters of the market leader will have had few concerns, with The Kodi Kid travelling powerfully to the lead before readily pulling four lengths clear of Grand Scheme – providing Murphy with his 100th winner from 539 rides since the resumption of racing on June 1.

Murphy told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s great to get another one on the board for Andrew – he’s my biggest supporter and the horses are flying, so I’m thrilled.

“It’s great to do it (ride 100th winner) for Andrew. This horse ran well last time and this was a good spot for him.”

Reflecting on his spell on the sidelines, he added: “I tried not to get too fat! I watched a lot of replays. Andrew had a Group Three winner and a Group Two winner – I’m obviously thrilled the stable has continued in super form.

“I went to Lake Como (in Italy), which was different. Obviously I don’t go on holidays, but it was super and it was great to see somewhere new.”

Martyn Meade saddled Viaduct to win at Bath
Martyn Meade saddled Viaduct to win at Bath (Adam Davy/PA)

It did not take Murphy long to claim his 101st winner of the campaign – producing the Martyn Meade-trained Viaduct with a well-timed challenge to emerge victorious in the Visit attheraces.com Handicap.

The 6-1 shot had been off the track since finishing a close-up third at Kempton in December.

Freddie Meade, assistant to his father, said: “We’ve found the key to him at home. He’s had a bit of time off and hopefully he’s improving.”

Tom Marquand is Murphy’s nearest pursuer in the jockeys’ title race after Saturday’s St Leger hero struck gold aboard Impulsive One for trainer William Haggas in the Home Of Winners At valuerater.co.uk Nursery.

It has been an excellent few days for Tom Marquand
It has been an excellent few days for Tom Marquand (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Runner-up on his last couple of outings at Newmarket and Windsor, the 5-4 market leader comfortably went one better.

Marquand has now ridden 78 winners this season, putting him one ahead of William Buick.

“I probably made a mistake on him last time – not getting him wound up early enough. I suppose Bath suited him that bit better, with a nice, stiff climbing finish,” said Marquand.

Looking back at his Classic triumph aboard Galileo Chrome, he added: “It still feels pretty surreal, to be honest.

“I know everyone says it’s a dream come true, but genuinely it really is.”