STUD Farm owner Gary Sanderson suffered defeat in his first race as a licensed trainer.

Sanderson, a former head lad to Mick Easterby, entered Keen's Token in the Betfred TV Maiden Hurdle at Uttoxeter on Tuesday night.

Although the eleven-year-old, ridden by Charlie Poste, finished at the back of the field, the race still represented a significant milestone in Sanderson's career.

He now has nine racehorses at Lilling Hall Farm at Flaxton and is able to offer the 'full cycle' from broodmare to foal, yearling, and racetrack.

"This is my main focus now, we're developing it as we go along," he said. "I've got nine racehorses in, with room for 15, and we'll combine jumps and Flat."

Sanderson is a nephew of former jockey Gordon Ward who rode 26 winners for Lester Piggott's father Keith before the war. He returned to York six years ago after a spell working at the Newsells Park Stud in Newmarket.

Only last year, Sanderson announced that former Royal Ascot winner Tha'ir had been posted to his farm to start on his stallion career.

However, the Godolphin horse has now moved onto Mick Appleby's stables in Langham with Sanderson saying: "Unfortunately, he wasn't fertile enough. We'll stand another stallion next year."