Midnite Storm No Longer A Maiden

Usually when a hors is 0 from 7 it is because they have proven to be quite limited, not really good enough to win. Midnite Storm is quite the opposite, a horse who has gained a reasonable handicap mark of 84 but yet to win a race. All that was pushed aside when he shed his maiden in the 1m2f Celebrate The Life Of Joe Newton Novice Stakes at Redcar.

Progressive last year as a 2yo, Midnite Storm looked the type to continue into this year and especially when stepping up in trip. On his three starts this year he has managed two runner up efforts and a third place, the latter runs being in handicap company. Despite his mark rising 4lbs, Kevin opted for the novice race.

Half of the 8 runner field were seen as forlorn hopes, going off at triple digit odds. The others though brought some useful form, with the likelihood being they would gain marks in the mid 80’s. Shane Gray has been partnering the 3yo this season and took the ride once more.

There was a moment of unrest when Midnite Storm looked to duck down as the stalls opened. This caused him to miss the break, sending Shane lurching forward and unable to get the prominent position he was looking for. After finding his feet Midnite Storm then pulled his way forward, chasing a sedate pace, he would end up following the leader. After 2f Shane found himself in the position he was after, leading the field and setting his own fractions.

It was the even money favourite who would be pressuring the lead throughout the contest and this created an even gallop. They turned for home with just over 4f to run and the field began to divide into two. Shane was slowly increasing the tempo down the home straight, which towed the market leaders along in behind.

Moving towards the 2f marker the pace had increased to 40 mph and now Shane looked to kick for home. The favourite head never been far away and reacted in sync to this move. Midnite Storm just edged off a true line but quickened up under pressure. The first challenge was repelled but there was one more to come. Passing the 1f marker, Midnite Storm changed legs and found once again. He opened up a clear advantage and was getting stronger the further they went. Shane knew the race was in the bag and eased his mount down to secure a comfortable 1/2 length victory.

Midnite Storm deserved to get his head in front and did so with a bit in hand. He didn’t start the race in the best fashion but throughout the contest he was always in control. Having dictated the race he quickened up nicely and saw the trip out very well. It will be handicaps next for the 3yo and he certainly looks the type who could get a touch further. There are some nice middle distance handicaps for 3yo’s and Midnite Storm could prove to be a player in these races.

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