Ted edges Midnight Rider to thrilling win at Yarmouth
Jockey Ted Durcan and trainer Chris Wall completed a double in the feature race of the day, the British Heart Foundation Handicap, at a rainswept and breezy Great Yarmouth yesterday.
But Durcan gave the backers, on at 9-4, a heart-stopping last few yards before getting Midnight Rider home with a patient ride, by half a length from the fast-finishing Whiskey Junction in the five furlong sprint.
An hour earlier it had been far easier for Durcan when Oh So Spicy, also trained by Wall, proved too hot for her five rivals in the six-furlong maiden.
Durcan had no trouble steering home the winner at 11-4 for the on-song trainer who also had a winner at the track the previous evening.
By his own standards, veteran trainer Clive Brittain has had a quiet season, but jockey Philip Robinson got his bay filly Daraa, at 6-1, home in a photo finish to the opener contested by four two-year-olds, all making their debuts.
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The close finishes kept coming and in the second race Hayley Turner got Empress Charlotte home by a short head. The 10-3 joint favourite outgunned outsider Swift Bird with Turner riding out a hands and heels finish on the Michael Bell trained filly and then having to survive a stewards' inquiry.
Overnight and morning rain changed the going from good to firm to good but it wasn't too cold. However, if any racegoers were chilled to the bone it was a great omen for the third race when the Linda Stubbs trained and Tom Eaves ridden gelding with that name won at 11-4, beating Janet's Pearl who fared better than her fourth the previous night in a similar race.
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Biggest disappointment of the day saw the well-regarded Flame of Hestia, from James Fanshawe's Newmarket yard, well beaten in the Time and Tide Museum Handicap which went to 15-2 shot Diverting, ridden by Lee Newman for trainer William Jarvis.
The closing race proved worth the wait for jockey Royston Ffrench. It was his only ride of the day and he duly obliged on Ed Dunlop's Mina's Boy, the 6-4 favourite.
Next meeting is on Wednesday with first race at 2.20pm.