Judicial bites the Beverley Bullet for Joe Fanning

VETERAN jockey Joe Fanning rounded off a landmark month by laying down the law to win the William Hill Beverley Bullet on Judicial.

Judicial and Joe Fanning (white and black spots) win the William Hill Beverley Bullet Sprint. Photo: Hannah Ali.

A week after recording his 2,500th career winner, the 48-year-old struck in Beverley’s £62,000 feature race of the year when a gap opened in the final furlong.

“I just got in the gaps and then he won well. He likes it here, I was travelling well in the race, travelling very well behind them. I just managed to get in a gap and once I got in it, that was it – easy,” said the rider who was recording his first winner in the contest.

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Though more than half of Fanning’s haul of winners have come for record-breaking Middleham trainer Mark Johnston, only Frankie Dettori amongst current riders has more triumphs to his name.

Good Birthday and Ben Curtis (blue and white colours) win the William Hill Silver Trophy at Beverley. Photo: Hannah Ali.

Fanning’s experience, particularly his knowledge of the trickier tracks like Beverley, is invaluable to Yorkshire trainers like Malton’s Julie Camacho, who trains Judicial.

Owned by the Elite Racing Club, Judicial is now unbeaten from three starts at Beverley and had plenty in hand over Queens Gift and Fairy Falcon after Ornate had set a blistering pace in this five-furlong sprint.

Trained by Roger Charlton before switching to the Camacho yard four years ago, it has taken time to harness the sprinter’s raw power.

Steve Brown, Camacho’s husband and assistant, said: “We inherited a horse that was combustible, and I think he’s got comfortable.

“We’re back on track, we’ll just go to Newbury for the Group Three (Dubai International World Trophy), I would imagine, in a couple of weeks’ time.

“If we go there and we can finish the season on a high, we’ll be pleased and back next year. He’s a five-and-a-half-furlong horse and he likes a hill. They tend to go a good gallop here and it just plays to his strengths – he sees it out well.

“We’re three from three at Beverley. We’d like to race here every week! He’s done so much for us, whatever he does now is a bonus.

“Already he’s put us on the next step of the ladder, he’s taken us from league two to league one. He’s been wonderful for us and for Elite because they’ve been such good supporters.”

Fanning went on to complete a double when Mark Johnston’s Freyja prevailed in a photo-finish from Afraid Of Nothing in the Irish EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

The two-year-old filly closed in on the eventual runner-up in the final strides of the seven-and-a-half-furlong contest, claiming victory by just a head.

“I wasn’t absolutely sure about the stiff seven furlongs here, but it looked like she needed every inch of it,” said Johnston.

“Joe (Fanning) said if he’d have got beat, he’d have blamed himself because he got boxed in there. He felt he could always get the lead over the field and, thankfully, he did.”

Earlier on Beverley’s richest race day in history, Good Birthday showed great promise with a resilient triumph in the William Hill Silver Trophy Handicap.

Andrew Balding’s inmate was slowly into stride in the £52,000 contest over a mile-and-a-quarter.

But once he found his rhythm, Ben Curtis’s partner ably seized control inside the final furlong and ended up with half a length in hand of Desert Icon.

Good Birthday, owned by King Power Racing, was subsequently cut to around the 20-1 mark about winning the bet365.com Cambridgeshire at Newmarket on September 28. Balding said: “That was a really great effort and I’m delighted with him. He was given a great ride and he’s going to develop into a pretty decent horse. That (the Cambridgeshire) is certainly a possibility, if he gets in.”

Positive was made to pull out all the stops to justify prohibitive odds in a thrilling climax to the Betway Solario Stakes at Sandown.

An impressive winner on his racecourse debut at Salisbury in June, the Dutch Art colt survived a late challenge from Andrew Balding’s course-and-distance winner Kameko who looks one to follow.

Winning trainer Cox said: “We’re very pleased. He has progressed every step of the way, but he is still quite raw.

“We are very much aware that more time is going to see further progress – with the right sort of behaviour.

“It was close at the line, but they went a good gallop and it was a good time, so we can be no more than pleased with him.”

Positive holds several big-race entries and Cox is keen to let the dust settle before deciding on his next objective.

“He is still a very nice, improving horse. We’ll see how he comes back, but he’s well entered – he’s in over seven furlongs in the Dewhurst, he’s in the Royal Lodge and the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and he’s also in the Lagardere in France,” he continued.