Hamelin atones for stalls mishap
A review of the action from Newcastle on Friday as Hamelin was on his best behaviour to win the valuable middle-distance handicap.
A general view of the action at Newcastle Racecourse
Hamelin was on his best behaviour as he redeemed himself for refusing to go into the stalls with a perfect performance to take the £25,000 Betway Handicap at Newcastle.
After an incident at Lingfield, trainer George Scott enlisted the help of renowned Newmarket horse whisperer Steve 'Yarmy' Dyble and it paid dividends as an amenable Hamelin put his best foot forward to land the spoils.
He was given a confident ride by Oisin Murphy, who 24 hours earlier was steering Opal Tiara to victory in the Group Two Balanchine at Meydan.
Held up for most of the extended mile-and-a-half trip, Hamelin (11/1) was delivered with a late charge to gain the verdict by three-quarters of a length from Petite Jack, with Sennockian Star the same distance away in third.
"We were pleased with that. He obviously had a bit of a hiccup the other day at the stalls at Lingfield," said Scott. "Yarmy has worked his magic and the team have done a great job to get the horse back in the right frame of mind.
"Oisin gave him a smashing ride. The plan was to drop him in. Since he lost his way having raced for so long off the front end, the plan was to try to fill him up with a bit of confidence.
"He's always had a lot of ability and had nice bits of form. It's just a matter with those old horses of changing things up a bit and getting then in the right frame of mind. With the situation we were in with him not going into the gate the last time, it was just one step at a time.
"I'm not going to commit to anything just yet, but I think we will get an extended trip much better now we've got him relaxed. With his turn of foot he could be effective and it would give us some more options."
Joe Fanning enjoyed an armchair ride on the Mark Johnston-trained colt as he swept to victory in the five-furlong sprint by two and a quarter lengths.
Fanning completed a double when getting Alan Swinbank's Codeshare (6/1) home by three lengths from Casablanca in the Betway Best Odds Guaranteed Plus Maiden Stakes.
Martin Dwyer escaped serious injury when unshipped from the fatally-injured Saxon Flames in the 32Red Casino Maiden Stakes.
The William Muir-trained three-year-old looked booked for second place when he stumbled and gave Dwyer a nasty-looking fall. However, Dwyer was able to walk away relatively unscathed.
"Martin Dwyer is fine. He got up and was heading home," said clerk of the course James Armstrong.
"I'm afraid Saxon Flames suffered a fatal injury. The horse was put down after fracturing a cannon bone."
The one-mile contest was won in good style by Excel Again (4/1) for trainer James Tate and jockey Martin Harley.
The Marco Botti-trained Vogueatti (4/1) got on top close home under a strong drive from Daniel Muscutt to land the £10 Free At 32Red.com Fillies' Handicap by two lengths, with a bunched finish for the places.
Paul Hanagan produced the Richard Fahey-trained Inaam (10/1) late on the scene to claim the sunbets.co.uk Handicap by a neck from Byres Road, while David Barron's Handsome Dude (9/2) made most for Phillip Makin in the Betway Best Odds Guaranteed Plus Handicap.
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