sport

Future's bright for Muteela

Muteela further enhanced her reputation with a dominant front-running display in the Happy Birthday Dadie Oughtred Stakes at Beverley.

Mark Johnston's filly is well-related as a half-sister to the yard's former Group One-winning juvenile Awzaan and showed plenty of courage to score by a nose on her racecourse introduction at Lingfield back in October.

Smartly away from her plum draw in stall one as she made her handicap debut and seasonal reappearance on the Westwood, the 2-1 favourite was soon dictating affairs and only Lincoln looked a serious threat once they straightened up for home.

However, Muteela's class edge became evident from the two-furlong marker as she found another gear in the hands of Paul Hanagan, sealing the deal by four lengths without being asked for maximum effort.

The Middleham maestro clinched the seven-furlong prize with another Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned runner in Shebebi a year ago, a horse who went on to clinch the lucrative Silver Bowl at Haydock.

Johnston's son and assistant, Charlie, said: "It's a family we know very well so she's got a lot to live up to on pedigree.

"We've given her a lot of time to come to herself and this was the day we'd learn how good she was.

"Judging by that, she's a bit better than a mark of 78.

"We'll probably stay at between seven (furlongs) and a mile now."

Muteela's triumph was the second leg of a double on the afternoon for Hanagan and the first part of a brace for Johnston.

The 2010 and 2011 champion jockey had earlier steered the Richard Fahey-trained newcomer Bond's Girl (4-1) to a debut victory in the Beverley Minster Maiden Auction Fillies' Stakes.

Hanagan said: "She did it well. She was quite green early on but she stayed on well, she is very genuine."

Johnston went on to strike with 5-2 chance Opera Fan, who clinched the Follow Us On Twitter @Beverley-Races Handicap under Joe Fanning.

Fanning had earlier come out on top in a thrilling climax to the In Memory Of Barry Linley Handicap, with 12-1 shot Arizona John denying Sporting Gold by a head.

John Mackie's charge could be called the likely winner with two furlongs to run with Fanning sitting pretty, but Sporting Gold rallied gamely to make a race of it.

Mackie said: "Going back on turf was key as he was never really picking up on the all-weather.

"He's been a great horse for us. He always travels so well through his races."

Hit The Jackpot galloped his rivals into the ground to record an impressive victory in the Rapid Lad Handicap.

The five-year-old was largely disappointing in 2013, having joined David O'Meara from leading Irish trainer Dermot Weld, but looked much improved on this return from a six-month break.

On the speed from flag-fall, the 14-1 shot swept clear under Julie Burke, coming home with nine lengths in hand over 5-4 favourite Genius Boy.

Trainer Clive Brittain and six-times champion jockey Kieren Fallon combined to take the Mayday Raceday Here Monday 5th May Handicap with 7-1 chance Dalaki.

Des Reape, Brittain's assistant, said: "He's got ability and he looks the part.

"Clive said he must have been in the mood."

Fallon was also successful in the concluding Beverley Folk Festival Here In June Maiden Stakes, scoring aboard Saeed bin Suroor's 1-4 favourite Night Party.