Calaf strikes Ayr gold
Brian Ellison is looking forward to an imminent hurdling campaign with Calaf after he secured back-to-back wins on the level at Ayr.
Since winning at Doncaster in early May, the four-year-old has struggled to find his best form, but he gained a confidence-boosting victory in a seller at Haydock last month when fitted with a hood for the first time.
With the headgear once again applied, Calaf was a 7-4 chance for the four-runner Back The Bhoys With BetVictor Handicap in Scotland and got the job done in good style.
Dale Swift cut a confident figure in the saddle when delivering his challenge in the straight and while Calaf hung across the track once hitting the front, he had enough in hand to beat the pacesetting Act Your Shoe Size by a length and three-quarters.
Ellison said: "We have spent a lot of time trying to get him settled as he was very keen in his races. Eventually we've got there with him and the hood has probably helped.
"The plan is to go over hurdles with him. He's been schooling and jumps really well.
"We'll see what happens but he might get another run on the Flat first."
Richard Fahey and Tony Hamilton combined to take the Champions League Specials At BetVictor Nursery with Ingleby Symphony.
The 17-2 chance was pushed all the way to the line by Mash Potato, but Hamilton's mount held on by a short-head.
The jockey told Racing UK: "It's a slog but we're getting through it.
"We didn't go that quick early. She jumped and travelled well and just lugged left in the straight as she probably wasn't liking the ground, but with her being so fit she got away with it.
"She's tough and she galloped all the way to the line."
The Malton-based team were narrowly denied a double as Arctic Feeling lost out by a nose to Another Wise Kid (9-1) in a thrilling climax to the Talk To Victor Handicap.
Paul Midgley's gelding was winning for the second time from as many starts when ridden by Russ Kennemore.
"I won on him last year at Ripon and I think this year he's just been a bit unlucky," said the rider.
"Micky Fenton is first choice for Paul Midgley and I think he's banned today, so I've got to thank him!
"He did it very well. I took a pull and got some cover. He's got a lot of talent and his forte is coming through the mud."
The Tim Easterby-trained Red Cobra claimed the Arc 4 Places At BetVictor Maiden Auction Stakes.
Duran Fentiman made every yard of the running on the even-money favourite.
He said: "He's had plenty of racing and he's just been unlucky to come up against a couple of horses that were a bit better than him on the day.
"He's deserved a win and it's a deserved win for the owners as well. He's done it well today."
Linda Perratt's 16-1 shot Sabratha came through from the rear to bolt up by five lengths in the Download The BetVictor Spincast App Now Handicap.
The trainer said: "She'd dropped in the handicap and seemed in reasonable form. She's a nice horse and has been placed this year, but had just been struggling for a win.
"Fast ground isn't ideal for her, but she loved the ground today and she just seems to have come to hand."
The Best Odds Guaranteed At BetVictor.com Racing Excellence Apprentice Training Series Handicap brought the card to a close and went to 12-1 shot Goldmadchen.