Rossa Ryan lights up Pontefract Racecourse with treble success
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A cooler and breezier day greeted racegoers, but some fantastic racing and exciting finishes lit up the afternoon with jockey Rossa Ryan taking a starring role with a brilliant treble, writes Richard Hammill.
The feature race on the card was the £20,000 Simon Scrope Dalby Screw Driver Handicap, a race run in memory of the former chairman of Pontefract Racecourse.
It was won by Chriszoff who could be a potential star of the future for trainer Archie Watson who has had a terrific season.
Following a short break, the winner took up the running on the turn into the home straight and bravely fended off all challengers in particularly game style to become one of the three winners on the day for jockey Ryan.
Winning with his ears pricked, there is a suggestion that the horse only just does what is required and could remain ahead of the handicapper.
Ryan had already taken the second and third races on the card courtesy of Sala Da Ballo and Magico.
The former made it third time lucky in the Iveco Alternative Fuels Range At Northern Commercials EBF Maiden Stakes following his most recent promising run at Yarmouth.
George Boughey’s son of Kingman settled much better than had previously been the case and had no trouble in seeing off his rivals.
Marco Botti’s Magico looks like a potential stayer to follow as he relished the step up to one mile in the KC Sofas Novice.
Staying on powerfully up the Ponte hill, he looks like one to follow as he steps up further in trip in his three-year-old career.
Botti was denied a double on the day when his Invincible Aura could not quite reel in Karl Burke’s Beyond Borders in the 6f Nursery.
There was a wonderful start to the day when Mick Mullineaux’s Granny B got her head in front for the first time under Laura Coughlan.
The trainer has been treated for cancer but is hopefully coming to the end of the treatment.
The jockey was also registering her 50th win. Not only that, it was her grandmother’s birthday too – a memorably day for all concerned!
The race did not look as though it was going to script for Granny B as she was boxed in behind a wall of horses. But once she saw daylight, she sprinted up the rail to score by a short head.
There was drama in the penultimate mile-and-a-half handicap.
Dashing Panther seemed to be in full control of the race as he entered the final furlong with an almost four length advantage. However, he began to hang to his right, seeking out the exit back to the stables.
As he drifted across the track, the challengers stayed straight and true and it was Roger Charlton’s Baltic who got up in the shadows of the post to score by a neck from the wayward runner-up.
The winner is a son of Frankel and is undoubtedly improving quickly on his first run in a handicap and over the mile-and-a-half trip.
Stamina was clearly not an issue and he could well step up again as he races over further.
The concluding Always Trying Handicap over six furlongs produced one of the tightest finishes of the day when Milbanke held on by a rapidly diminishing short head from the fast finishing Emily Post.
The runner-up was held up in last before producing her run in the final furlong – tactics that had been deployed successfully at the track earlier in the season.
However, the post came just in time for Milbanke, who had critically got first run on his rivals, on his first start for trainer Julie Camacho.
The next meeting at Pontefract is the penultimate race meeting of the season and takes place next Monday. Full details and admission prices can be found at the course’s website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk