Yarmouth double makes it a happy birthday for Sir Michael
Top trainer Sir Michael Stoute celebrated his 68th birthday with a short-priced double at Great Yarmouth's penultimate meeting of the season yesterday.
Stoute and stable jockey Ryan Moore saw Stormachion take the 12-furlong handicap very easily, beating The Ducking Stool and Red Pilgrim. The 10/11 shot, a winner recently at Salisbury, never looked like being beaten.
Although Red Pilgrim finished ahead of The Ducking Stool, the stewards reversed the placings of those two horses, awarding second place to Julia Feilden's charge, a three-times winner at the course this season.
Earlier the Moore/Stoute partnership won Division Two of the maiden fillies race with 8/11 favourite Asyad. The white-faced odds-on shot was never in danger despite the efforts of Madame Mere, runner-up on debut, with Lady Cecil's She's Gorgeous third.
Moore was not the only jockey in double form with Great Yarmouth regular Chris Catlin also having a superb day.
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There was a huge shock on Division One of the two-year-old maiden fillies' mile when David Simcock's 33/1 debutant Madame Chiang was produced superbly by Catlin to storm through to beat Dorset Cream and Chortle.
The 13/8 favourite Gold Approach was particularly disappointing while the unfancied winner clearly relished the soft underfoot conditions.
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Catlin, having scored at 33/1 then had a 15/2 winner in the shape of Cape Factor for Newmarket trainer Rae Guest to complete a 288/1 double.
The filly burst through the field to win easily over six furlongs, finishing well clear of Berranhri and Exceeding Power.
It took the handlers lots of patience and skill to get Chooseday to go in to the stalls for the feature race of the day over six furlongs.
But the top weighted gelding, under Graham Lee, was much keener when the race got under way and the 7/1 shot, trained by Kevin Ryan in Yorkshire, prevailed.
Chooseday, winless in 2013, was prominent throughout up the favoured stands rail and held on to beat Italian Tom in a photo-finish with Monsieur Jamie third.
Devon trainer Tony Newcombe made the 650-mile round trip worthwhile when his All Right Now, under Martin Harley, won the six-furlong handicap at 9/1, beating 25/1 shot First Peninsula and favourite Resonare with Hingham-based Christine Dunnett's Give Us A Belle fourth. Rough Rock, a course favourite, finished down the field in the 100th contest of the eight-year-old's career.
The opener on the card, a maiden over six furlongs, went to 5/1 shot Kaab. Off the course since finishing midfield on debut in May, Kaab comfortably took the honours for trainer Ed Dunlop and former champion jockey Paul Hanagan.
Resolute, on debut for William Haggas and Seb Sanders, was second, with heavily-backed 6-4 favourite Sir Robert Cheval back in third.
The finale, over seven furlongs, went to Phil McEntee's Minimee under claimer Robert Tart at 10/1.
In a bunch finish, Minimee, produced late, beat Clumber Place and Cocozza. It was some compensation for Tart, earlier involved in the enquiry which resulted in his mount Red Pilgrim being downgraded from second to third and a good success for the horse, third five days earlier at Brighton.