SPRINT king Dandy Nicholls landed his third Stewards’ Cup last Saturday at Goodwood with 20-1 shot Evens And Odds, who was well ridden by five-pound claimer Billy Cray, who rides out regularly for the Thirsk trainer.

Nicholls’ close friend and neighbour Geoff Harker is enjoying his best-ever season on the Flat and kicked off the week in the best possible way, with a double at Ripon on Monday and similar results at Catterick the following afternoon.

City Of The Kings and Gap Princess were the horses that were successful at Ripon, both well ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, who was also on the yards two winners, Lava Lamp and Eijaaz, at Catterick.

Back at Ripon, Alan Swinbank was on the mark in the concluding handicap, with the progressive George Adamson scoring later that evening, Middleham trainer John Weymes continued his fine season with another winner in Miami Gator who was following up his recent Hamilton success, only two days earlier.

Going back to Catterick on Tuesday, the riding performance of the day came in the staying handicap when Paul Mulrennan judged the pace to perfection on the Howard Johnson trained Bergonzi, who was making it two from two at the track this season.

Both Pontefract and Newcastle raced on Wednesday and Mark Johnston took the training honours at the West Yorkshire track as he saddled the first three home in the 1mi 4f handicap, but not the way the betting suggested. Yorgunnabelucky (9- 1) under Adrian Nicholls led home Chilly Filly (3-1) with Sprit Is Needed (9-2) back in third place.

Johnston was also on the mark at Newcastle with Sky Falcon, who followed up his recent Leicester success in the opening 7f nursery in the hands of Royston Ffrench.

Neighbours Bryan Smart and Kevin Yan were also on the scoresheet with Malgoof and Sharp Eclipse.

The most popular winner of the afternoon at Newcastle came in the competitive 6f when Chris Fairhurst sent out the 11-1 shot Who’s Shirl to come home in front.

Running in the colours of Shirley France, who also bred the four-year-old, it was a welcome winner for the Middleham trainer who has proved in the past he can train 5f sprinters to 3mi chasers.

Although the Flat season is in full swing, jump jockey Graham Lee deserves a special mention as he travelled over last Friday to partner Overturn to victory in the valuable Galway Hurdle for trainer Donald McCain.

It is another very busy weekend of racing, with plenty of action to back up the popular Shergar Cup at Ascot, in which all the leading riders throughout the world take each other on in a points system.

Redcar is set to race tomorrow and Sunday, with a nice mix of competitive handicaps and maiden races over both days.

Tomorrow’s action is due to get under way at 1.55pm while Sunday’s racing is set for a 2.10pm start.

The second race tomorrow is a 1mi handicap and it is very interesting that Harker has sent out City Of The Kings out again.

The five-year-old is carrying a 6lb pound penalty for the Ripon win but that shouldn’t pose any problems as Harker has booked the useful Michael O’Connell to ride, and he is set to claim five pounds off his back, which should result in another victory for the trainer.