Punters blast “joke” race at Nottingham as jockey steals race from the start

Storm Chaser was the 26-length winner of the Racing TV Extra ‘Hands N Heels’ Apprentice Handicap. JockeyRose Dawes rode a canny race and her rivals got too far back

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Punters fumed about their losing bets when a jockey stole a race from the start and won by miles.

Rose Dawes sent Storm Chaser straight into an early lead at Nottingham and was never in any danger of being caught. In a line-up of apprentice jockeys, the sportswoman gradually let her mount stride on from the stalls.

After a couple of furlongs, she was eight lengths ahead – but the margin just kept getting bigger as the thoroughbred galloped with plenty of enthusiasm. The others were happy to let Storm Chaser go, with 3-1 favourite Diamond Cutter to the fore under Conor Plannas, Dawes was able to dictate her own pace and she steadied her fractions around the home bend.

At that point commentator Martin Harris estimated she was 20 lengths clear. The canny jockey kicked on again, asking her horse to go faster and they picked up their speed to 36mph.

Storm Chaser built up a huge advantage down the back straight



The race replay shows it took until around the two furlong pole for the jockeys on the pursuers to become much more animated, realising the front runner was finding more.

However the contest was realistically over by then, because Storm Chaser was so far in front. Consistent mare Hidden Pearl was best of the rest – but at the line she was still a huge 26 lengths behind.

Storm Chaser (7-2) won by 26 lengths



Racing fans who backed the other horses, including the third-placed market leader, were unhappy with how it panned out. Accompanied by a laughing emoji, one wrote on social media: “What a joke the 4.40 Nottingham was.”

A second person posted: “The 4.40 apprentice handicap at Nottingham gonna cause a bit of rage on here I’d expect.”

And a third Twitter user asked: “They’re apprentices so mistakes are to be expected. But seen at least two others similar to this in apprentice races in recent months. Are jockey coaches focusing too much on style and not enough on how to pace a race?”

The contest comes just days after another winner obtained a huge lead at the beginning. Calculus, a 50-1 shot, powered ahead at Beverley as the other jockeys played a waiting game. The gelding with very little form in the book had just enough in the tank to repel the opposition by three quarters of a length.

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