ZEEBAND and BATRAAN both bounced back from previous defeats and returned to winning form at their retrospective tracks today. Son of Sea The Stars, Zeeband, laid claim to the William Hill Pick Your Places Northumberland Vase Handicap in Newcastle, swiftly followed by Batraan who impressed at Doncaster in the Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap.
ZEEBAND was first on the score board, showing class amongst his rivals to win easily in an impressive fashion. Piloted by Andrea Atzeni Zeeband broke well from stall 2 and took up a decent position midfield along the inside rail. Bellatrixa, from the Venetia Williams yard, set the pace and made all until the home straight where Andrea asked for more and Zeeband launched a decent challenge, cruising through the tightly packed field to take the lead. Continuing to run on well, sprinting clear to land the prize and proving uncatchable by the rest of his rivals all closely bunched together 2 ½ L behind in a close called second secured by the Hugo Palmer trained Margaret Dumont.
Congratulations to Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum and connections. This was only the seventh appearance on the track for Zeeband, so there is no doubt more to come from the son of Sea The Stars, particularly having slipped the field so readily today.
BATRAAN followed suit at Doncaster, putting to bed the Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap under Gavin Ashton, who put in a determined ride having been caught behind the leading pack. Ashton held Batraan calmly, stalking the leader waiting to for the opportune moment to pounce. Patience paid off as finally a gap opened up and the opportunity presented itself for Batraan to break through to take the lead, which Gavin took gamely with both hands and heels. Batraan responded well showing a powerful turn of foot to battle through to the line a neck ahead of the Tom Dascombe trained Harmony Lil a neck behind in second, denying the market favourite Pockley from the Roger Fell yard s further 1 ¼ L back in third.
Congratulations to winning connections and to Gavin Ashton, to whom Batraan has given his 17th win and completes the double on the day for the Varian team. The son of Camacho did well to overcome a troubled passage and relish the challenge to battle through. This performance bodes well for the rest of the season and we look forward to seeing what more this chestnut colt can show having proved more than capable back on good going.