Karl Burke’s good start to the season with his juveniles continued apace at Pontefract when Inhaler just held on in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes.
The Leyburn handler hopes to head to Royal Ascot with Newcastle winner Dandalla, as well as Significantly who was narrowly beaten on his debut at Gosforth Park.
With the big meeting getting ever closer, it may be asking a bit much for any youngster to back up so quickly, but Inhaler (100-30 favourite) showed a good attitude.
Ben Curtis bounced his mount out and having taken a lead from All About Charley until outside the final furlong, he hit the front and held on gamely from Dandy’s Max by a neck.
Burke’s assistant Joe O’Gorman said: “He made good use of the draw, had a good position all the way round and when they came at him he kept battling all the way to the line.
“He’ll definitely improve from that run so we’re very pleased, it’s a good starting point.
“We seem to have a good bunch of two-year-olds this year.”
Dandalla’s form was given a boost in the following Pontefract Thanks The NHS Maiden Auction Fillies’ Stakes when Bonne Vitesse, seventh in the Newcastle race, wore down long-time leader Susucaru.
The two had it between them from some way out but Brian Ellison’s filly showed the benefit of a run by knuckling down close home to win by a length and a half.
Having made ground into seventh at Newcastle, she was perhaps a surprisingly juicy 6-1 against a field of newcomers.
Ben Robinson was on board and said: “She’s very straightforward at home. She’s only small, but she has a great attitude and I think that’s what pulled her through today.
“Her home work has been great, Brian hasn’t done a lot with her since Newcastle but that suited her because she’s a light filly. I think she won cosy in the end.”
Roger Fell has hit the crossbar a few times since winning the first race since racing’s resumption with Zodiakos, but he was celebrating again as Crispina bolted up in division one of the RIU Hotels And Resorts Worldwide Maiden Stakes.
Sold for 22,000 guineas out of Ralph Beckett’s yard after just one run, syndicate manager Nick Bradley now looks to have made a shrewd purchase.
Having taken a lead from Silk Lace, Curtis asked his mount a question and the race was soon over, the 11-4 favourite pulling six and a half lengths clear.
Fell said: “I was out for a walk and watched it on my phone. It was interesting.
“Nick Bradley is the genius. He touted her about to a few trainers and I said I’d have her and luckily he sent her to me.
“We’re thinking of the Commonwealth Cup now. Why not? It’s a strange year.”
Kevin Ryan has had several horses run well since the resumption but only one had managed to get its head in front so he will be hoping the victory of Magical Moment in the second division signals a change in fortune.
All eyes were on Mark Johnston’s Motion, a daughter of Attraction, but she looked very green throughout and finished well beaten.
Magical Moment (11-2) took a lead off Joshua R before quickening three-quarters of a length clear under Kevin Stott.
“I got a lovely tow into it and she handled the track better than I thought she would,” said Stott.
“She galloped all the way to the line and did it well. The bit of experience last year clearly helped.”