sport

Captain takes charge for Clark

It was a memorable day for conditional jockey Ryan Clark who rode his first career winner aboard Captain Clayton at Wetherby.

The 23-year-old pilot from Grimsby gave his mount what trainer Simon West described as a "very professional ride" and the 33/1 shot ran out a comfortable two-length winner at the expense of Heavenstown in the Download New Racinguk Ipad App Handicap Hurdle.

A jubilant Clark said: "I'm over the moon with that and it's a day I'll always remember. I'd not had anything to do with horses before I was 16, but that's when I went to riding school and I've been riding now for a couple of years."

West said: "I told Ryan to take his time and for a jockey who has never won a race, he's given the horse a brilliant ride and he's got a good head on his shoulders for a young lad."

The Goodbye And Good Luck Ben Atkinson Handicap Chase was the feature race on the card and saw Fill The Power (2/1 favourite) jump his rivals into submission under Ryan Mania, scoring by 18 lengths from Harris Hawk.

The recently ill-fated Coverholder won on the card 12 months ago, so this was something of a poignant winner for the Sue Smith team.

The eight-year-old finished fifth behind Godsmejudge in the Ayr marathon last season and looks on course for another tilt at the big handicap following a dominant display.

Harvey Smith said: "What happened to Coverholder just can't be helped, but the horses are very fit at the moment and providing the handicapper doesn't go mad he'll go for the Scottish Grand National again."

Fine Rightly (8/11 favourite) further enhanced his profile in the Watch On 3 Devices Racinguk.com/anywhere Novices' Hurdle when making all to beat Southwell winner Templebraden by seven lengths.

Stuart Crawford's inmate was bidding to regain the winning thread following a lacklustre Ayr performance last week and he did so emphatically.

Jockey Stephen Crawford said: "He has been in great form at home but I wasn't expecting him to do it quite as easily as that. You can only beat what is in front of you and he couldn't have done it any better.

"We'll take it one step at a time. I'd imagine he'll run again somewhere but these wins are just bonuses."

Massena, a red-hot 4/7 favourite, continued the great form of Venetia Williams' yard and completed his hat-trick in the Wetherby Racecourse & Conference Centre Handicap Chase.

The progressive seven-year-old registered yet another runaway success in beating Cloverhill Lad by 13 lengths and a delighted jockey Callum Whillans said: "Venetia is great at turning her horses out quickly and running up sequences and it wouldn't surprise me if he won again."

Lean Burn (100/30 favourite) gave the Staffordshire-based Barry Leavy something to smile about when notching his second win in as many starts in the New Racing UK Anywhere Available Now Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

An impressive winner at Doncaster previously, the eight-year-old really has the bit between his teeth at the moment and he travelled into contention stylishly before registering a two-and-a-quarter-length win over Shan Valley.

Winning rider Conor Ring said: "Everything worked out perfectly and we're hopeful he'll win again. He gave me a great ride and they went an ideal gallop for my lad. He jumped super and travelled smoothly."

A drama Ebf/tba Mares' Novices' Handicap Chase resulted in the gutsy Legendary Hop (8/1) staying on best under Tom Messenger to thwart Mrs Eff's bid to score over course and distance for the second time by a neck.

As the petrol tank began to empty rapidly approaching the line, Mrs Eff was forced to give way to Chris Bealby's charge.

Bealby, who was saddling his third winner of the season, said: "We know she stays well and I was confident she'd get there when she had something to aim at.

"We've had a pretty quiet time this season but the horses are coming back to form now and it seems like we've turned the corner."

The racinguk.com/anywhere: 3 Devices, 1 Price Mares' Standard Open NH Flat Race finale went the way of the Philip Kirby-trained, Adam Nicol-ridden Lady Buttons.

Nicol said of the 10/11 favourite: "She's done that very easily and we'll probably go to Aintree for the Listed race next. She's the best of our bumper horses and I'd like to think she'd be better on better ground."