The Roger Fell-trained gelding bowled along in the mile contest from the start under his jockey James Sullivan, who like all riders was wearing a face mask as part of the strict hygiene protocols.
His better-fancied stablemate Al Ozzdi came there strongly two furlongs out in the hands of Ben Curtis, but while he took a definite advantage at one stage, the 22-1 winner fought back gallantly and was a neck to the good at the line.
Great Habton-trained Art Power, ridden by Silvestre de Sousalooked impressive when winning on his second start at York last season and defied a penalty in fine style in the second division for Tim Easterby.
Richard Fahey’s Brian The Snail, trained in Malton, won the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap by the narrowest of margins from Yousin and the domination of the northern yards continued as Kevin Ryan’s Oakenshield – trained at Hambleton – beat stablemate Barbarella in the Betway Casino Handicap.
Oisin Murphy recorded his first winner of the campaign as the champion jockey got Sir Michael Stoute’s 5-2 joint-favourite Alignak up to land the Betway Handicap.
But it was a race that saw two fallers in the straight, with PJ McDonald’s mount December Second bringing down the Jim Crowley-ridden Financial Conduct.Both jockeys were reported to have escaped serious injury, butsadly December Second suffered a fatal injury. His visibly upset trainer Phil Kirby, of Catterick, said: “He’s gone, I’m afraid.”
Hot favourite and highly-rated Godophin colt Pinatubo is one of 15 entries for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
The Andrew Balding-trained Kameko also runs while Aidan O’Brien has a strong hand as his seeks his fifth win in the colts’ Classic in the last six years, saddling four runners, with Roger Teal’s unbeaten outsider Kenzai Warrior, also set to run.
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