Morning Digest: Racing mourns death of Pat Haslam

Pat Haslam

SADNESS abounds this morning. Legendary northern trainer Pat Haslam has passed away, aged 69. The trainer of more than 1,000 winners, he was a much-loved figure in the sport and even after retiring he helped son Ben who took over the reins at Castle Hill Stables in Middleham. Condolences to Pat’s family. Also, Kempton was abandoned before the last two races on Saturday night after an incident at the racecourse. It has emerged this morning that a man in his 50s died after the incident in the stable yard. There are no further details but coming not long after the death of stalls handler Stephen Yarborough at Haydock this is another awful tragedy for the sport to contend with.

Just one last point on this. As this event unfolded on Saturday night it was sickening how much wild speculation there was on Twitter. Some of it was probably the usual idiots tweeting drink-fuelled nonsense but some of it came from people who should know better. In these circumstances the next of kin and relatives have to be informed first before anything official can be released by the police. Hopefully people will respect this next time.

Day two of Chepstow’s October meeting is the stand-out card today. Finian’s Oscar got the job done yesterday although he clearly needs more match practice. The scope is there though. Aidan O’Brien did his usual: he won a Group One. But not only that he saddled the first four home in the Dewhurst with US Navy Flag coming out best. Incredible.

Mystified at 9/1 value

Today I’m hoping Mystifiable (4.35) (9/1 generally) can make use of her feather weight. An improving chaser for Fergal O’Brien, he was lightly raced last season and will appreciate the decent ground. He looks overpriced.

A few of the Chepstow races are probably worth a watching brief rather than risking your money as they are likely to spawn a slew of future winners. But Mia’s Storm (2.15) could take advantage of her mare’s allowance in the novice chase.

The Persian War Novices’ Hurdle is intriguing. The experience of Tommy Rapper, probably one of the best maiden hurdlers in the country, might give him the edge over £270,000 recruit Vision Des Flos. A race to watch methinks.

At Goodwood Starcaster (3.45) (7/2, William Hill), Jacob Cats (4.20) (9/1, generally) both have some appeal and I fancy each-way poke on Golden Amber (4.55) (22/1, generally) who will be fresh and will like the ground.

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