Roger Varian and Jack Mitchell teamed up to land the Listed Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton as Tinker Toy proved an authoritative winner of the feature race at Dunstall Park.
Sitting second for the majority of the race, Mitchell’s mount (8/1) picked up stylishly around the turn to pick off Highfield Princess and Jason Hart and quickened two lengths clear.
Favourite Happy Power was a touch outpaced as the leaders quickened, but stayed on well in the closing stages to finish second beaten a length, with Misty Grey and Richard Kingscote flashing home in third for the Tom Dascombe team.
That runner was the last of Dascombe’s from his Manor House Stables base, having left the yard owned by Michael Owen to move to Lambourn, with Classic-winning trainer Hugo Palmer filling the void at Manor House.
After the race, winning jockey Mitchell said of the five-year-old gelding: “We’ve always held him in high regard and he’s lightly-raced because he’s a little bit fragile.
“It was a very competitive race today but we came here with confidence.
“Last time at Lingfield he went to win his race but was probably just a little bit rusty as he hadn’t run for a long time. But it was a track record that day. His class was definitely there still.”
All roads lead to Doncaster for Probert
In the earlier Lincoln Trial, Notre Belle Bete and David Probert collared early leader Baldomero on the line to land a gamble for the Andrew Balding team and owners King Power.
Having been backed from 10/1 into 5/1 during the early afternoon, the four-year-old gelding had plenty of work to do turning for home, with Baldomero travelling strongly five lengths clear of the field.
But as the latter’s stride started to shorten in the final furlong, Probert galvanised his mount to get the better of Baldomero and Jason Watson for the Horse Watchers Partnership and Mick Appelby, who combined to land the winner of the opening race with Whittle Le Woods.
The official winning distance was a head, with a further length-and-a-half back to United Front in third, also trained by the Appleby team.
Winning jockey Probert highlighted the Lincoln Handicap as his mount’s next target at Doncaster in a fortnight.
“I made sure I committed from the gates an sent him forwards rather than looking to get in at halfway because you can always lose it early on here,” Probert said.
“I managed to get across from a wide draw and had to use a good bit up.
“Down the back I was able to take off the pace and fill him up at a vital part of the race. He’s found plenty under pressure once he had himself organised.
“He was highly tried as a three-year-old and ran in the Hampton Court but probably wasn’t quite ready for it. He feels like a horse with plenty of progression left in him.
“All roads lead to Doncaster for him now.”
Source : Sky Sports