Ed Chamberlin reflects on Sprint Cup day at Haydock where Hello Youmzain landed the feature while young Cieren Fallon continued his rise up the ranks.
It was my first Haydock Sprint Cup in which we’ve managed to do the broadcast outside, which tells you how unlucky they’ve been with the weather the last few years.
After rain earlier in the week the ground was soft, but the sun shone gloriously on what was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon as Kevin Ryan’s Hello Youmzain won the feature.
There’s no point in dressing the race up as a vintage renewal – it wasn’t – but we had a terrific result with a three-year-old winning it again for the fifth time in six years.
And Kevin Ryan is one of the nicest guys in the training ranks. This winner was on a big stage and the ITV main channel five minutes before our coverage switched to England v Bulgaria, so maybe he’ll get one or two wealthy owners on the back of it.
I interviewed him for The Opening Show on Friday and his enthusiasm for Hello Youmzain was infectious.
He had a twinkle in his eye and hopefully we got that across to the viewers. Indeed, his only moment of concern was when I told him Fran Berry was going to tip him on the television the next day.
In the race, there were few moments of anxiety. Hello Youmzain made all and the rattling finish from The Tin Man was too little, too late. The winner was well backed and the gamble was landed.
It was good to see The Tin Man return to form, though, while Waldpfad’s third place was deserved and his efforts in the UK this season could well encourage more overseas raiders to come over.
My favourite moment of the day was when Martin Dixon came over from his stint on Racing TV to watch the London Mile with us on the ITV podium as his Kasbaan landed the big race at Kempton.
He and his brother Chris are clearly shrewd, but they are great for the game and Martin really got across how much fun it is owning horses with his reaction which was pure joy and emotion.
His honesty was great, he made no secret of the fact that they’d all had a good punt on the horse and he couldn’t hide his delight which was superb.
They are brilliant at what they do and it should encourage others to have a crack. £20,000 is a lot of money but when you split it down in a syndicate it doesn’t have to be a fortune, it’s affordable. If you’re thinking about it just do it!
The Racehorse Owners Association are really engaging with what we are trying to do on ITV which I appreciate and Martin’s reaction was a brilliant advert for horse ownership. I’ll continue to support all syndicates and they serve up some of the very best human stories on the show.
Back to the action at Haydock and some of the jockeys making headlines – Richard Kingscote is the king of this venue and he got his 501st winner for Tom Dascombe on Great Scot, a combination as deadly as Ben Stokes and Jack Leach (more heroics at Old Trafford on Sunday, please gentlemen).
But the youngsters coming through continue to excite. Over at Ascot Rossa Ryan advertised his talents yet again aboard Apparate for Roger Varian, while here at Haydock Cieren Fallon showed what a cool cookie he is with his ride aboard Time To Study in the Old Borough Cup.
My word, he is good and he looks to have inherited the ice in his veins from his father.
Talking of which, now it’s over to his dad, Kieren Fallon, in the Mondialiste Leger Legends race at Doncaster on Wednesday. It’s a real treat to see him in the saddle again and hopefully raise lots of money for the Injured Jockeys Fund.
It’s not the only place you’ll see legendary jockeys in action next week as a stellar cast are set to line up in the Pat Smullen charity race at the Curragh next Sunday – Fallon himself, Ruby Walsh, Sir Anthony McCoy, Johnny Murtagh, Richard Hughes and more are all lined up to take part.
I hope and pray Pat can get there to see the race for himself and that the great man raises a fortune for a fantastic cause. If you want to donate you can do so by clicking here – we should all support this great cause and inspiring human being if we can.
Next stop for me is Doncaster. And I can announce a first as the Thursday and Friday of the Leger meeting will be shown on ITV1 for the first time.
I’m delighted the main channel will showcase a fabulous few days at Doncaster. Hopefully I’ll see one or two of you there.