Methag gives Hales more success on the level

Edgcote trainer Alex Hales
Edgcote trainer Alex Hales

How Alex Hales is only training six horses on the Flat this summer defies any logic but racing has always been a strange game.

The Edgcote handler sent out Methag to land the 1m 6 1/2f handicap at Doncaster on Saturday, belying odds of 18/1, as the five year-old French bred mare slaughtered a competitive ten-runner field.

It would be nice to see her put together two consistent runs on the bounce now. If not, she will go over hurdles

Edgcote trainer Alex Hales

Methag could hardly be described as a model of consistency and Hales admitted: “Methag hadn’t shown her true capabilities on a racecourse before. I wouldn’t say she had been brilliant at home but there were flashes of ability.

“She could go up 10lbs for that win. I had thought of running her quickly again at Wetherby but the ground was good to firm.

“It would be nice to see her put together two consistent runs on the bounce now. If not, she will go over hurdles.”

The success combines with a hot form sequence for Hales who saw Running Wolf a runner up at odds of 12/1 in a Fakenham handicap chase on Sunday before The Otmoor Poet was beaten only half a length and a head in a 1m 3 1/2f handicap at Windsor on Monday evening.

The Otmoor Poet is yet to win but Monday’s effort behind favourite What A Welcome and Tiar Na Nog offers hope. Meanwhile, yard favourite Crafty Roberto has been retired after four wins from 55 starts.

Fittingly, the ten year-old went out with one of his vintage displays at Market Rasen on Friday.

The Trafford Bridge handler said: “He gave his owners a lot of fun. That extended to the weighing room with some banter whenever.

“The horse always knew how to look after himself, always staying sound, although he picked up an injury in his last run.”