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Johnston and Nicholls the ideal double act at Ripon
RIPON brought down the curtain on their season last Saturday and Mark Johnston and Adrian Nicholls teamed up for a fine double on the day, starting off with King Of Macedon in the opening maiden.
Afterwards, Jock Bennett, Johnston’s assistant, said: “King Of Macedon has just started to pick up in his work at home. His yard manager was confident he would go well.”
The double came when Discay took the one-mile-four-furlong handicap in ready style, and Bennett added: “Discay has done well this year and is still improving.”
There was a new juvenile course record after Greed Is Good took the nursery for Karl Burke and Phil Makin, and afterwards the trainer’s’ assistant, Shaun Johnson, said: “Greed Is Good has improved with every run and they rather teed it up for him there as they went a good gallop.
“I wouldn’t have expected him to win like that as normally he’s not a horse that does much in front.”
Hamilton had their last day of the season on Monday and Ann Duffield was left praising the talents of stable jockey PJ McDonald after Milly’s Secret claimed her second career victory in thrilling style in the nursery.
The daughter of Sakhee’s Secret looked a potentially smart juvenile when winning on her second career start at Pontefract in early June and had been placed on three of her subsequent five appearances.
Sent off at 4-1, Milly’s Secret was being pushed along by McDonald from halfway, but responded generously and got up close home to beat Gym Shoes by a head.
The Constable Burton handler is, of course, married to former top jockey George Duffield, who rode over 2,500 winners during a brilliant career in the saddle and was associated with great horses like User Friendly and Giant’s Causeway.
The trainer said: “He’s pretty good, our stable jockey, isn’t he?
“He looked a bit like G Duffield today! It was a great ride. The filly is very tough and consistent and she’s in the sales at the end of October. I think she might make quite a lot of money as she’s a half-sister to Titus Alone, who won the Windsor Castle Stakes a few years ago (2005).
“If she makes plenty she’ll be sold and if she doesn’t she’ll stay with us. I’d be quite happy to keep her as I think she’ll improve from two to three.”
Another female trainer on the mark at Hamilton was Marjorie Fife as Camerooney produced a 20-1 surprise in the nine-furlong handicap.
The delighted trainer said: “Camerooney broke down at Pontefract on his second start last year, so had to have time off, and this was only his third run for us. We have to be very careful about the ground with him and we’ve taken him out twice because conditions weren’t suitable.”
Joe Fanning continues to boot in the winners and he was on the mark at Newcastle on Wednesday when steering home Windforpower in the five-furlong handicap for Tracey Waggott.
Redcar stage their big race day of the year tomorrow with one of the richest races for two-year-olds, the totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy.
No less than 85 horses were entered at the five stage and one of them to make plenty of appeal is Morning Post, who took a valuable contest last time at Doncaster.
Trained by Kevin Ryan, Paul Mulrennan was on board last time out but will miss the ride here due to injury, leaving the door open for top Irish jockey Fran Berry.
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