Ashforth's Angles: Harbour win would have feel-good factor

Laura Mongan

Laura Mongan: rare chance of big-race celebration with Harbour Law

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

 By David Ashforth 6:00PM 6 JUL 2016 

NOTHING against Aidan O’Brien, Saeed bin Suroor or Sir Michael Stoute but let’s face it, if one of them wins the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket (2.10) they won’t be able to find anywhere to put it.

The trophy will probably end up in a greenhouse with a tomato plant sticking out of it. On the other hand, if Harbour Law wins then the trophy will be given top billing on owner Jackie Cornwell’s mantelpiece and whatever trainer Laura Mongan receives will be pointed out with pride for years to come. It matters more to small stables.

The occupants of Mongan’s Epsom yard are not monotonous winners, nor given to bringing home enormous slices of bacon. Since launching herself in 2004, Mongan has reached double figures for wins on the Flat just three times and never over jumps.

The yard’s biggest winner was in the 2013 Imperial Cup at Sandown, when First Avenue won almost £40,000, at 20-1. Now they’ve got another good one.

Ian Mongan, Laura’s husband, knows what big race success feels like because in 2011 he rode Twice Over to win the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York for Sir Henry Cecil. Ian retired in 2013 and is likely to share the team’s excitement at the stable star’s Group race debut.

Cornwell is not a stranger to the winner’s enclosure, having owned the five-time winner Threave but in finishing second in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, Harbour Law won more than Threave’s five wins combined.

Sword Fighter - Colm O'Donoghue

Harbour Law finishes runner-up to Sword Fighter at Royal Ascot

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Bought for £30,000 as a two-year-old, Harbour Law finished second on his debut for Jo Crowley before joining Mongan. In May he won a maiden race at Salisbury with the second and third both winning their next races. Later that month he won a handicap at Sandown off a mark of 85 before graduating to the Queen’s Vase.

Harbour Law isn’t bred to stay as well as he clearly does but that doesn’t matter and if George “The Head Waiter” Baker passes the winning post first the sky – alias the St Leger – beckons. It would be good, wouldn’t it, if he won?

Nothing terrible about Ward

It will be good, too, if Oh So Terrible wins division one of the maiden (4.20) for Wesley Ward. His bold transatlantic raids have livened up the racing scene, especially at Royal Ascot, and there’d be celebrations at the Elmhurst-Chicago Stone Company in Illinois, possibly in one of their gravel pits.

Oh So Terrible is owned and was bred by Carol Hammersmith. She wasn’t named after a flyover but after Charles Hammersmith, her husband, president of the above Stone Company and descendant of its founder, Adolph Hammerschmidt.

Oh So Terrible’s mother, Miss Terrible, won seven consecutive Group 1 races, albeit in Argentina. I bet your mother hasn’t done that. If Miss Terrible produces another one Carol Hammersmith might call it Ooh You Are Awful (if you’re old enough you’ll remember).

So come on Harbour Law and come on Oh So Terrible and come out kind sun. Do what you’re supposed to please, and shine.

Horse Racing News | Racing Post

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