hayley turner will look to add to her big-race haul before hanging up her saddle when she partners Orvar in the Totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar, the feature race of the year at the track.
Champion apprentice 10 years ago, and a pioneer for women in racing, Turner surprised many at the end of August when announcing that she would retire at the end of the current campaign to pursue a media career.
However she has been in a rich vein of form since making the fateful decision, most notably when winning the Group Three William Hill Firth of Clyde Stakes at Ayr on Lady Jane Cecil’s Shaden. Orvar heads to Redcar on the back of victory in the International Trakya Trophy at Veliefendi, Turkey, last month.
Running in the colours made famous by Derby hero Authorized, the son of Dandy Man is trained by Richard Hannon.
Tony Nerses, racing manager for owners Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar, said: “It’s all systems go.
“The horse is in very good form and I know Richard is looking forward to him running.
“This looks a very good opportunity for him. He has run against good horses all season and hopefully he can take another step. He has come out of his Turkey race very well. He’s a very fast horse, and also a very good horse, which is always a good mix.”
Hannon launches a double raid, with his hand strengthened by the durable Log Out Island, who is having his eighth start. Second to Aidan O’Brien’s Waterloo Bridge in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, he was most recently seen finishing second to Ribchester in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.
Hannon, the current champion trainer, said: “Log Out Island is the highest-rated horse in the race and he must have a great chance. The cards have not dropped his way all summer, but he ran another smashing race to finish second in the Mill Reef at Newbury, and on that form he’d be the one they all have to beat.”
Tim Easterby had to watch his Mattmu beat everything bar an inspired Limato 12 months ago, form which has turned out to be of the highest quality. The Great Habton trainer this year fires a five-pronged attack in search of a third win from the last four runnings, with stable jockey David Allan plumping for Still On Top. Successful first time out at Pontefract, he lost little when a close third to the smart Tasleet at York
Redcar’s biggest day of the year is being staged in the same week that the town’s steel plant was closed with the loss of 1,700 jobs, with the opening two races renamed the Save Our Steel EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes.
Redcar general manager Amy Fair said: “We are a local racecourse for local people. We hope that naming a race on our most prestigious day of the season will help to highlight the Save Our Steel campaign, which is in support of not only the steel workers but also those people whose jobs in other industries are under threat too.”