Beverley treble for Curtis
Ben Curtis racked up a treble at Beverley as the Yorkshire track hosted its third behind-closed-doors fixture.
Steering William Haggas’ 6-1 chance Manaabit to a comfortable win in division two of the William Hill Lengthen #yourodds Handicap, the jockey then triumphed aboard Hugo Palmer’s Golden Pass in the William Hill Betting TV Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
The latter, three-year-old daughter of Golden Horn, started at 9-5 and took a wide line to prevail by three-quarters of a length from the John Gosden-trained Lightness, who is owned by the Queen and went to post as evens favourite.
Curtis, who was also denied by just a neck aboard Lanika earlier on the card, then prevailed again when Roger Fell’s Zihaam was a half-a-length winner of the William Hill Foundation Supporting Alzheimer’s Society Handicap at a price of 11-4.
“I came here with a good book of rides, and it’s been a brilliant day,” he said.
“When I got chinned in the first I thought it was going to be a horrible day, but it’s turned out great.
“You come here and do your job, and that’s what I’ve done. It’s a bit strange behind closed doors and it’s a shame no one is here to watch, but at least I’ve got my valet to cheer for me!”
Colony Queen claimed her third successive victory when triumphant in the feature williamhill.com Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap.
The four-year-old followed up an autumn success at Newbury and a more recent triumph at Newcastle to extend her winning form by half a length under P J McDonald, despite being drawn widest of all in stall 13.
“She never wins by far, but she just doesn’t stop,” winning trainer Steve Gollings said of the filly.
“We’re very lucky to have her. She’s an improving filly, there’s no two ways about it. She overcame a difficult draw there, but from midway up the straight I thought she was going to win.
“She’s had two fairly swift runs now, so we’ll catch our breath and make a plan to try and find a race that suits her.”
James Fanshawe’s Bomb Proof overcame a 405-day absence and a winner’s penalty to take his career tally to two out of two in the William Hill British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes.
Representing Fanshawe for the first time since leaving the care of Jeremy Noseda, the three-year-old gelding went off 6-4 favourite and won by three-quarters of a length under George Wood.
“He won on his debut and then he was, I think, actually favourite for the Windsor Castle but had a niggling problem that we sorted out,” said Wood.
“It took him time to let him find his feet – and when he hit the rising ground, he hit the line strong.
“He’s done it nicely. There’s definitely more improvement from him.”
Mark Johnston’s Deep Impression claimed the William Hill Foundation Uniting Against Dementia Maiden Auction Stakes, despite parting company with jockey Joe Fanning and cantering to the start loose.
The two-year-old filly, who did the same thing on her debut run at Pontefract, still managed to triumph by a neck from Sylvester Kirk’s Lanika at a starting price of 9-2.
“That’s the second time she’s done that, so we’ll have to get the pony out when she runs next,” said Johnston.
“She’s still very green but she’ll have to get used to it. Luckily she doesn’t do much when she’s loose, she just headed to the start.
“I’m not sure if it’s the step up in trip or the experience of last time that made the difference – she isn’t bred for seven furlongs, but it might have given her time to settle.”
Division one of William Hill Lengthen #yourodds Handicap went the way of David O’Meara’s Le Chiffre, who was piloted to a three-and-a-half length victory at 4-1 by Danny Tudhope.
“It probably took him a furlong to get going, but he’s going forward. He’s a nice horse,” Tudhope said of the three-year-old, who was appearing for the first time since being gelded.
“We were probably a bit keen to be taking each other on at the start, but he accelerated well in the end. He should have improved for the run too – there’s more to come, and he should stay a mile.”