Boy racer could target Haydock double

Elspeth's Boy
Elspeth's Boy
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Elspeth’s Boy is set for a rapid-fire return to action after the horse’s clear-cut victory at Haydock Park five days ago, when he was successful in the colours of father-and-son Peter and Mick Helm, who run Preesall Garage.

The five-year-old, who was successful at the Lancashire track at odds of 16-1 under five-pound claimer Garry Whillans, is entered at Ayr on Thursday or could return to Haydock 24 hours later.

A throw-out from the Newmarket yard of William Haggas, Elspeth’s Boy has proved to be a bargain buy at just £1,500 for the Helms.

The win was a tonic for Peter, who goes into hospital later in the week.

Mick Helm said: “We weren’t sure beforehand whether the horse would stay a mile-and-a-quarter, and if we had known for sure we might have had more than a tenner on him!”

The horse is trained at Whitby in North Yorkshire by Philip Kirby, who originally hails from Kirkham.

Helm Junior added: “We will discuss with Phil where he runs next and he could be out again this week.

“Phil’s horses are running tremendously at the moment and he has done well for us with our other horse Agglestone Rock, who has won eight races now.”

It’s Derby day on Saturday, but for many racegoers the place to be will not be Epsom Downs but Cartmel.

The unique Cumbrian track plays host to a jumps meeting on Saturday night, and once again the combination of Donald McCain and Jason Maguire will be out to make their mark – they were top trainer and jockey at the course last year.

McCain said: “Of course I shall be going for the top trainer title again but every winner at Cartmel is sweet. It’s my favourite course as it was the first one I went to as a youngster with mum and dad. Its magic has never waned.

“Unfortunately, I shall be away next week but I do plan to have runners on all three days of the opening meeting, and I shall be there myself on Saturday evening,” he said.

Though Maguire was top rider, the season came to a worrying end last August, when he suffered a fall from the chaser Keyneema and had to be airlifted to hospital.

It has not put him off the course by any means, and Maguire said: “Hopefully we shall have a lot of winners at Cartmel again this season and I shall be on all of them!

For the first time, there are eight days’ racing at Cartmel this season.

The programme begins on Saturday with a ladies’ evening, when the first prize in the Best Dressed Lady competition will be a piece of diamond jewellery valued at £5,000

Racing continues on Monday (first race 2.05) and Wednesday (2.10).

The racecourse stages its richest-ever fixture on July 21 and 23, rounding off the season with a three-day August bank holiday fixture, starting with an evening meeting on the 23rd and continuing with afternoon meetings on the 25th and 27th.

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TRAINER Aidan O’Brien dominates the six-day entries for the Investec Derby, which are headed by QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner and ante-post favourite Camelot.

The colt is odds-on to add the Epsom Classic to his Newmarket haul and could be joined in the field by stablemates Astrology, Father Of Science, Imperial Monarch and Tower Rock.

York’s Dante Stakes winner Bonfire leads the home defence along with Lingfield Derby Trial victor Main Sequence.

Chester Vase hero Mickdaam is set to be Richard Fahey’s first Derby runner, and Cavaleiro, Minimise Risk, Rugged Cross and Thought Worthy complete the field.