Tim Easterby saddled a second treble this week and he found it hard to disguise the regard in which he holds Fishable, who defied a 7lb rise for a repeat course-and-distance win in the Sky Bet Thank You Key Workers Handicap at Ripon.
Unraced at two, Fishable (15-8 favourite) finished second on his debut over seven furlongs before notching a fine third over an extended mile at Hamilton, looking like a step up in trip would suit.
Sure enough, on his handicap debut over 10 furlongs he fairly bolted up, beating Scottish Summit by three and a quarter lengths and he beat the same rival on 7lb worse terms by half a length this time.
“We thought a lot of him as a two-year-old, but he’s a big horse so we put him away. All he wanted was a trip. He’s got a presence about him, he’s a lovely horse,” said Easterby.
“Whether he’ll stay as far as the trip in the Melrose (one mile and six furlongs), I’m not quite sure yet, but those are the types of races we’ll be looking at.
“He’ll be much better when he gets over a mile and a half. His mum (Sweet Stream) was a very good racemare.”
Easterby’s Staxton (5-1 joint-favourite) was rated over 100 not too long ago and took full advantage of a tumbling handicap mark to win the David Chapman Memorial Handicap off 84.
However, the photo finish took a long time to call with Watchable on the far side of the track going down by just a nose.
“He’s a good horse on his day and had dropped enough in the handicap to a proper mark,” said Easterby.
“I’d like to think we can win a good race with him along the way. He was a bit unlucky in the Ayr Gold Cup last year and I imagine he’ll be heading back there.
“Obviously he’ll run before then, but I’m not sure he’ll get in the Great St Wilfrid this year – there’ll be some nice races for him.”
Bollin Joan (4-1) completed the treble, and a double for David Allan who rode Fishable, in the Download the ITV7 App Handicap.
Iain Jardine’s string have hit form recently and the Scot celebrated a double courtesy of 9-4 favourite Innse Gall in the one-mile nursery and Clearance in the two-mile handicap.