Tue 26th Jun 2018
Brad Phillips makes a winning debut at the Harestock Handicap from a returning Alan Hitch with another fast newbie Jono Brown in third
The June handicap had a fresh feel to it with 22 runners including 4 event newbies - welcome to Joanne Nash, Lilly Whitehouse, Jono Brown and Brad Phillips - as well as 2 old friends making their first appearance of the season - welcome back Jo Jefferies and Alan Hitch.
Steve is away on his bike so we also had a guest race director in Robert Bryan, thank you Robert for a job well done and for being firmly impartial when setting the newbie handicaps!
10 runners managed to meet or beat their handicaps and 11 runners finished in the sweetspot that is the blanket finish. Our winner on the night was newbie Brad Phillips passing Alan Hitch in the final straight. Alan managed to hold off the fast finishing Jono Brown to retain 2nd place and Louise Snook - fresh from her Welsh Castles adventures - similarly held off Mark Craven to bag fourth with a fine dip on the line.
Fastest on the night was James Moore in 5'57 - Mr Consistency, consistently our fastest and consistently sub 6 minutes. Overall we had 6 runners under 7min so a spritely crew racing well but the nice thing about handicap racing is that it is inclusive and as often as not the tortoise beats the hare (such is his handicap that James was only 10th in the race itself). Second fastest was Lloyd Dickson in 6'23 and third fastest was Lee Hayes whose 6'46 is a new PB and lifts him to No.51 on the honours board. Other notable times included our winner Brad Philips in 6'49 (onto the board in 56th spot) and Jono Brown with 6'54 (on in 64th).
The June results are here : Harestock Handicap 2018 6 June
As regards the overall standings we're still only at the half-way point and a lot can change as many as 12 athletes look to still be in with a shout. Matt Lavers remains out in front but wasn't at the June event so effectively used up another discard.....careful Matt you can only miss so many before it hurts. No coincidence then that our only 2 ever presents for this year, Adrian Haughton and Karen Hazlitt, are leading the chase. With the holiday season yet to come, 6 more races and 2 discards still to factor in there will yet be many twists and turns but the key to success is to get out there and contest the handicap whenever you can.
The July Handicap will be on the first Thursday of July....5th July, meet at the track 18.45 for 19.00. Newbies (and Oldies) all welcome. Steve is again away (and fading fast in the overall standings) so Adrian Haughton will be the race director....you know who to sweet talk if you're hoping for a benign handicap.