SUNNY Future is to have a lasting memorial for his consistent achievements at Salisbury after winning his fifth race in his last six attempts at the track with a race named in his honour.
The eight-year-old is a quirky character who neither relishes the starting stalls, nor being away from the security of his box. So veteran Somerset trainer Malcolm Saunders is heavily restricted to where to run him, and if it’s not Bath, where he has twice won, then it’s Salisbury.
Sunny Future likes to front run but jockey Richard Hughes thought before racing someone might adopt the same tactics and it proved the case as Luke Morris tried to make all in the 14-furlong handicap on Happy Families but Hughes sneaked up on the inside three out to put the race to bed.
“He loves top of the ground,” said Saunders, thankful Salisbury had escaped the worst of the thundery downpours which principally led to the defection of seven of the 11 declared and 15 nonrunners across the seven-race card.
“He runs here so much better here than anywhere else. He doesn’t travel well, so this one-hour trip suits him. Richard thought he had got to the front too early, then the horse heard the others coming, and off he went again.”
Fellow West Country trainer Rod Millman had the perfect take off for a rare venture to France when Marcano sustained his remarkable record with two-year-olds this season.
Millman, saddling Master Carpenter in a group race at Chantilly, only has seven juveniles in his yard and now five have won.
He should have been accompanied on the flight from Bristol by Marcano’s joint owner David Little, yet another caught up in the passport delays fiasco and whose travel documents had not arrived in time.
“We were hoping to run him in the Coventry at Royal Ascot but he coughed and we couldn’t get another race in him,” said Little.
Marcano, who is entered in a valuable back end sales race, may take in Goodwood in the interim but plans are much dependent on the ground.
“It was plenty fast enough for him today.”
Millman went on to complete a double when Eugenic took the apprentice handicap in dramatic fashion when two runners fell independently.
In front of her shocked parents, Sophie Killoran took a crashing fall by the rails three furlongs after the saddle on Dylan’s Centenary slipped.
“I thought I had done a 1,000 somersaults,” she said astonishingly pain free afterwards, the crack in her helmet graphically illustrating what might have been.
Less fortunate was Adam McLean who suffered a broken collar bone after his mount Permsiri had clipped the heels of another runner two out.
On a happier note, the drinks were on the 20-strong Pall Mall partnership after Step To The Shears took the six-furlong auction race, resolutely holding the tenacious challenge of Room Key – he’s named after the pub at the end of Richard Hannon’s gallops!
Spokesman Tim Horley colourfully described members as “old lags who have been around the block a few times and who are here to have fun”.
The partnership resurrected last year saw an immediate dividend with the useful Piping Rock who won three races for the Hannon yard, including a group three, which led to the new purchase.
Conspiracy theories questioning the riding arrangements with Richard Hughes unplaced on the better fancied Among Angels were quickly dispelled by Hannon snr.
“Pat Dobbs has ridden him from day one and we left him on him. I think a step up to seven
furlongs will suit him.”
Hughes believes Among Angels’ exertions in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot lay behind his comprehensive defeat. “He didn’t think he ran his race,” Hannon explained. “He said he was struggling a bit.”