The going was good to soft, good in places on this blustery, but often sunny afternoon.
All the way from Carrutherstown in the southwest of Scotland, Iain Jardine’s Lara Silvia (9/2) took the opener, a nursery over 5f. She had a slight lead from the outset, with the favourite Blue Venture keeping close tabs on her. The order remained the same until the last few strides, when Santorini Sal ran on to take second. She got to within a neck of Lara, but Rossa Ryan had a bit up his sleeve on the winner.
You had to have faith to back Mick Channon’s Now I’m A Believer (14/1) in the one mile nursery, who had shown little in five runs to date. Prominent throughout today’s race, she worried the leader out of it at the furlong pole, but was herself being caught rapidly in the closing stages. In a stirring finish, Kieran O’Neill kept her going well enough to emerge a short head and a neck in front of the fast-finishing Today Power and Big Boris.
It was back to five furlongs for the next race, which went to Chris Mason’s Atty’s Edge (11/2). Despite being slowly away and scrubbed along before halfway, she responded well to her usual partner Rhiain Ingram. She made up ground steadily to dispute the lead inside the final half furlong with Kodiak Attack, who’d been in front from the start. One last effort propelled her to a half length victory to make the trainer’s best ever season better still.
The lucky few who picked the forecast in the 7f novices race will have gone home very happy. The first and second were Sea Voice (25/1) and General Joe (20/1), yet both come from leading stables, those of Richard Hannon and Clive Cox. Sea Voice hit the front two out, and General Joe mounted a challenge, but in the last hundred yards the leader went on again to score by two lengths. Thore Hammer Hansen was the winning jockey.
John Gosden’s Severnaya (1/2 fav) had been off the course since she won a Newcastle maiden very easily at the beginning of March. In today’s 7f novice stakes she led with over a quarter of a mile to go, and was never threatened thereafter. Robert Havlin guided her home four and a half lengths ahead of David Evans’s Snow Ocean, and she will surely hold her own in better company. The 66/1 shot Maerchengarten ran well for a long way.
The Mike Murphy-trained Young John (2/1 fav) hadn’t been at his best this year, but he was strongly fancied to return to form today and skated up in the 6f handicap. Rossa Ryan quickly aimed him at the far rail and he ran solo along it, disputing the lead till showing clearly in front two out. Going clear from there, he finished four and a half lengths ahead of Handytalk to give the jockey a double.
The only race on the round course, over 1m4f, resulted in a victory for Paddy The Chef (9/1), completing a double for Thore Hammer Hansen. Kicking on over a quarter of a mile out, the Ian Williams four-year-old soon went clear and put the result in no doubt. General Brook, who’d been prominent all through the race, stayed on to take second some three lengths away, the winner having been heavily eased.