SATURDAY evening racing fixtures were restricted to all-weather venues for a number of seasons when Sunday racing developed into an integral part of the racing calendar.
Reintroduced last season on turf courses, they provide popular additional racing opportunities throughout the summer months.
A warm evening attracted a large crowd to Lambrini Ladies night at Haydock Park last Saturday when racing began at 6.40pm. Following an annual tradition going back years, the Haydock Park Pony Club supported the five-furlong Nursery Handicap Stakes and 20 members judged Bella Boy Zee as the best turned-out horse in the race. Riding the 7-4 favourite Cape Trafalgar, jockey Kevin Darley quickly sent his mount to the front and pulled clear in the final furlong to win by three-and-a-half lengths from Tregarrron.
Darley had a quick double when winning the six-furlong Rated Stakes on 8-1 shot Circuit Dancer. The gelding battled to record a two-length victory over Danehill Stroller.
Happy Holiday, a 12-1 shot ridden by Chris Catlin, made the running in the Dave Delaney Memorial Maiden Stakes and held off a challenge from Go Solo to score by three quarters of a length over the six-furlong trip.
The North West Racing Club Handicap Stakes covered a distance of two miles. Entering the final straight, Court One led the field before Royston Ffrench sent 7-2 shot Kahyasi Princess to the front. With pricked ears, the filly crossed the winning post with a margin of three-and-a-half lengths in hand of the second horse home, Delham.
In the feature race, Big Bad Bob turned the £14,000 GAP Personnel Conditions Stakes into a procession. The 5-6 favourite was encouraged by John Egan to lead the field of five from the early stages of the one-mile two-and-a-half-fur-long race. Never off the bridle, the three-year-old, who finished second to Epsom Derby winner Kris Kin in the Dee Stakes at Chester in May, galloped clear to win by a decisive 11 lengths from Lundys Lane.
The action came to a close with the McDonalds Restaurants Handicap Stakes over one-mile two-and-a-half furlongs. Ali D plugged on to win by three quarters of a length from Ruby Legend.