KEVIN RYAN’S East was a creditable second for Yorkshire on the opening night of the Breeders’ Cup meeting in America and could now be aimed at next year’s 1000 Guineas.
Though hot favourite Newspaperofrecord was a headline act with a runaway win, East exceeded expectations in the one -mile Juvenile Fillies’ Turf.
Drawn widest of all, the daughter of Frankel was dropped in last of all by nerveless rider Jamie Spencer at Churchill Downs.
The tactics paid off. East just got up on the line to take second spot and produce one of the most pleasing results in the career of Hambleton-based Ryan, who was having his first runner at the so-called World Championships of racing.
The filly clearly relished the rain-softened ground, with The Mackem Bullet, trained at Malton by Brian Ellison, just run out of the places in sixth.
Delighted Adam Ryan, assistant to his father, said: “She has done us proud, she is a very good filly. When you bring them here you never know what they are capable of.
“We’ll get her home now and I think the logical thing would be to look at the 1000 Guineas.”
Spencer said: “She ran very well, coming out of stall 14 wasn’t ever going to be easy, and then she went right when she jumped.”
There was no luck for Soldier’s Call, owned by Yorkshire businessman Steve Parkin, in the Juvenile Turf Sprint – the horse was sixth after missing the break.
Marie’s Diamond, trained by Middleham’s Mark Johnston never featured in the Juvenile Turf for colts and geldings won by Charlie Appleby’s Line Of Duty under one-time Northern Racing College graduate William Buick.
Today’s action in Kentucky sees Leyburn trainer Karl Burke’s Havana Grey line up in Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
The horse’s final run before being retired to stud, the colt is another high-profile ride for North Yorkshire jockey PJ McDonald, who missed Havana Grey’s Group One win on Irish Champions Weekend because of injury.
The final race of the night is the Breeders’ Club Classic featuring middle distance champion Roaring Lion, who won both York’s Dante Stakes and Juddmonte International under Oisin Murphy.
Owned by Qatar Racing and trained by John Gosden, it is the four-time Group One winner’s final race being retired to stud and the big unknown will be the grey’s ability to handle a dirt track and kickback from the pacesetters. It is the ultimate test.