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Press Family Raceday: Local heroes prevail at York Racecourse
IT’S the 14th year that The Press and York Racecourse have teamed up to promote the Sunday Raceday. STEVE CARROLL delves into the vaults to pick out some highlights from years gone by.
NORTH YORKSHIRE trainers were five star at The Press Family Raceday.
Paul Midgley, Richard Fahey, Kevin Ryan, Bryan Smart and Micky Hammond all celebrated Knavesmire winners as local handlers enjoyed another stellar day at the annual feast of family fun.
In the feature Betfair supports Go Racing in Yorkshire Stakes, Internationaldebut (12-1) swooped late to pull off his first victory in more than two years. It gave Westow-based Midgley one of his biggest winners - and he was delighted to do it at his home track.
Verinco looked to have slipped the pack early on in the six furlong £18,000 handicap but jockey Freddie Tylicki, on board Internationaldebut, timed his challenge to perfection.
Midgley said: “He’s one of those horses where I am asked how I think he is going to run and I say ‘I expect him to win’. It’s been like that for two years. He’s got so much ability but, on the other side of the coin, he is tricky with it.
“We’ve stuck by him, purely and simply because he has so much ability and I am overwhelmed. It’s great. It’s York as well. There’s no better place.”
Demolition (5-4 fav) notched York winner number eight of the season for Musley Bank trainer Fahey in the Future Select Recruitment Claiming Stakes.
Lady Layla (5-2) got Smart on the board in the Judith Marshall Memorial Stakes.
And Ryan, also based in Hambleton, watched Pea Shooter (6-1) make short work of his rivals in the Minster Alarms 30th Anniversary EBF Maiden Stakes.
Middleham-based Hammond completed the set when Alsahil (25-1) showed grit and determination in the final Future Cleaning Services Apprentice Stakes.
NOEL Wilson achieved one of his greatest successes when Stolt led from first to last to take the GWP Architects Stakes.
The then Flaxton trainer’s four-year-old, whose season the previous year was wrecked by chipped knees, notched up his sixth win for the stable with a gutsy performance.
The 22-1 shot reared a little in the stalls before the start, but bolted into the lead and withstood the challenge of Crimson Fern to take the five furlong sprint by a neck.
A stewards’ inquiry had threatened to spoil Wilson’s day, but the announcement of Stolt’s victory brought both delight and relief for a trainer who finally tasted Knavesmire success after a number of close encounters.
“He doesn’t want to go in the stalls too early, but when he gets out of those gates he’s away, “ said Wilson.
“We have had a lot of close shaves at York and we’ve finally got one. He was a good two-year-old and he missed his entire three-year-old career with chipped knees.
“A lot of horses don’t come back from what he has come back from and he has got a great will to win. He’s as tough as nails and he loves a battle.”
The win was Wilson’s 13th since Christmas and his ninth from 55 runners in that Flat campaign.
Wilson now trains in Middleham.
LEADING apprentice jockey Paul Hanagan celebrated his 22nd birthday at the Evening Press Sunday Raceday on Knavesmire with a 64-1 double success, on General Hawk and Riska King.
Both horses were trained by his Butterwick-based boss Richard Fahey, who predicted that the Warrington-born rider would one day be champion jockey.
Hanagan took his score for the season to 68, and appeared to have the apprentice championship in safe keeping as he was 28 ahead of his nearest rival Graham Gibbons.
General Hawk took the lead a furlong and a half from home in the Flat Roof Company Handicap and Hanagan kept him going strongly to beat Labrett by half a length.
It was a close call too for Riska King as he also had only half a length to spare having wore down Pop Up Again close to home in the Smith Brothers Maiden Auction Stakes.
“Paul is brilliant,” said Fahey afterwards. “He rides everything right to the line and if he is not champion jockey one day I will pack up training.”
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