Double delight for Jedd O'Keeffe at Pontefract
A review of the action from Pontefract on Tuesday, where Jedd O'Keeffe's team proved the stars with a 131/1 double.
Last Updated: 08/04/14 6:51pm
Buoyed by Shared Equity's win at Newcastle on Saturday, the Yorkshire handler was in fine form and Dark Ocean (11/1) got the ball rolling in the Pontefract Loyalty Card Handicap.
Given what O'Keeffe described as "a peach of a ride" by Graham Lee, the four-year-old appreciated the cut in the ground and ran out a ready two-and-a-half length winner from Kyllachy Star.
O'Keeffe said: "He has been ever so consistent for us and would have won as a two-year-old if he had not been badly hampered at Newcastle.
"He produces his best form when there is some ease in the surface and I am delighted for the owners."
It was a different bunch of jubilant owners that graced the winner's enclosure after the New Racing UK Anywhere Available Now Handicap courtesy of New Bidder.
The course-and-distance winner displayed his battling qualities under a power-packed Russ Kennemore ride to thwart the bold bid of See The Sun by a head.
O'Keeffe said of his 10/1 scorer: "I really thought he would improve for the run but he is so game and a credit to our yard.
"He needs give in the ground and this trip really suits him. What a day."
Champagne Rules caused an upset when defying odds of 100/1 under Paddy Aspell in the High-Rise Maiden Stakes.
Conditions appeared to get the better of Munaaser, who arrived boasting some fancy entries in the Dante and the Derby for Sir Michael Stoute, but Sharon Watt's charge relished conditions underfoot and won despite hanging into the stands' side rail on the run for home.
Bill Watt, husband of trainer Sharon said: "We are over the moon. I just cannot believe it.
"We know he is good but there were some real class horses in opposition today.
"Sharon deserves all the credit as she puts in all the hard work. We thought he would win a race, but not today."
An inspired ride from last season's champion apprentice jockey Jason Hart saw Surprise Vendor (20/1) make all in the Jamaican Flight Handicap.
Stuart Coltherd's eight-year-old, who was successful over fences on three occasions this winter, was brave in holding the late challenge of Fitzwilly and Calculated Risk.
Hart said: "Chasers are clearly the right types to be on in these races and he kept on going for me when the challengers began to eat into my lead."
Kevin Ryan was in winning form courtesy of Clayton (9/2) in the New Betting Hall Handicap.
Paul Mulrennan, who was sporting the colours of the late Guy Reed, had the seasonal debutant positioned perfectly in behind early leader Stepping Ahead and the five-year-old picked up well to beat that rival by three-quarters of a length.
Ryan reflected: "This fella is lightly raced and boasts a decent record when fresh but we had ground concerns today so I was not expecting such a big performance.
"We needed to get a run into him and he will do nothing but improve for that.
"We have looked after him and that was always the policy with Mr Reed's horses.
"He liked to bring them along gradually and that is exactly what we have done."
Danehill Revival (8/11 favourite) left a lasting impression under the in-form Ryan Moore in the Racing UK On Sky Channel 432 Maiden Fillies' Stakes.
William Haggas' daughter of Pivotal handled the testing ground well and she beat a useful yardstick in Two Smart by six lengths.
Haggas' wife Maureen said: "She has done everything right today and could be smart.
"She has handled the ground better than anything else, but her breeding suggested she would and she will only improve."
The Racing On Monday 14th April Handicap finale went the way of the Micky Hammond-trained Pertuis (8/1) who stayed on best to give Graham Lee his second winner of the afternoon.