Dark Jedi sparks Easterby's Ripon double

Yard’s new arrival posts second victory in 10 days.

  • Wednesday 08 July
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Tim Easterby should have some fun with Dark Jedi, given how his new purchase won for the second time in just 10 days at Ripon – initiating a double for the Great Habton handler.

Successful at Hamilton last week, the former Charlie Hills inmate swooped fast and late under Duran Fentiman to beat Nicklaus by a length and a quarter in the www.attheraces.com Handicap.

Sent off a 6-1 chance, he is the first horse owner Evan Sutherland – who has tasted success with the likes of Out Do and Highland Colori in the past – has sent to Easterby.

“William (Easterby) and Rory Bevan bought him second hand (for 20,000 guineas) – he was just a good looking horse,” said Easterby.

“He could be a Saturday horse – but I don’t mind coming here on a Wednesday! He’s a very nice horse, he won nicely and had a good position throughout.

“If you get a good run through here you’ve got a good chance.

“He’s our first horse for Evan, and it’s a great start.He’s a lovely man and a good owner and a genuine guy so it’s great we’ve got a nice horse for him.”

Easterby then doubled up in the Visit attheraces.com Handicap with Garden Oasis (11-1) – who has a slightly different profile.

Bounced out of the stalls by David Allan, from the widest draw of all, he never saw another rival and won eased down by four and a half lengths.

Easterby said: “Every time he ran last season he came back not right. He was actually in the sales, but we decided not to sell him.

“It took a long time to get him right in the winter, but he’s been sound and ok recently and ran a good race at Haydock but just didn’t get home.

“David won it in the first furlong.”

Andrea Atzeni made sure the trip north was worthwhile when making all the running on Richard Hannon’s Mambo Nights (11-4) in the Follow @attheraces On Twitter Handicap.

Only four went to post, but all will win races in the future – and Mambo Nights, in defying top weight, looks the best prospect currently.

Atzeni said: “He has very good juvenile form and was beaten by some nice horses like Quadrilateral.

“He won quite nicely last time over 10 furlongs. He was stepping up to a mile and a half and carrying top weight, so it was a nice performance.

“I don’t ride much round here, but it can suit the front runners. I got quite an easy time – we started racing a long way out, but he kept going. Hopefully there’s more to come from him.

“There were only four runners, but the (William) Haggas horse (King’s Castle) is probably all right, and they apparently think a bit of James Bethell’s (Stockbridge Tap, second).

“It wasn’t certain on his pedigree that he’d stay the trip, but it was straightforward. It’s not for me to decide where he goes next, but he can only get better.”

Karl Burke sends stable star Dandalla to Newmarket on Friday, so was glad to be back among the winners.

On the mark at Pontefract on Tuesday with Rayong, his Socially Shady (9-1) came down the centre of the track to win the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Handicap by a neck under Ben Curtis.

Burke said: “Socially Shady has been a bit of a slow-burning, backward horse. He’s always shown some potential but he saves a fair bit for himself – at home as well as on the track.

“The cheek-pieces definitely helped him. A quicker-run race will probably suit him better, and he’ll stay further.

“We’ve had lots of seconds and thirds, but it’s nice to be back among the winners.”

Sandhoe provided Jedd O’Keeffe with a winner in the opening Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Fillies’ Novice Auction Stakes, jockey Jack Garrity taking up a prominent early position and making it count to prevail by a head at 9-2.

O’Keeffe said from the sales at Newmarket : “I just managed to catch it, and I was really pleased. Jack did a fantastic job – she had a really poor draw, and she jinked right coming out of the stalls, so it was a very good ride. She’s a tough filly and she stuck her head out.

“She’s our first two-year-old winner, though we haven’t run many. I have around 12 two-year-olds – and I’m trying to buy another one now!”

Saeed bin Suroor has an impressive strike-rate at Ripon and improved it further when Deep Snow justified even-money favouritism in the Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com Maiden Stakes.

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