Lady is a champ for Kirby
Phil Kirby is excited to see what the future holds for Lady Heidi after the filly ran out a shock winner at Pontefract.
The daughter of High Chaparral had shaped with plenty of promise on her first two maiden starts at Thirsk and Newcastle, finishing fourth and third respectively, but was a 20/1 rank outsider as she stepped up to Listed class against four winning colts in the EBF Stallions/totepool Mobile Silver Tankard.
Ridden patiently by Silvestre de Sousa in the testing conditions, Lady Heidi began to take closer order rounding the home bend and was produced to challenge for the lead once straightened up.
As front-running favourite Bow Creek faded disappointingly, it was left for Lady Heidi to fight it out with Godolphin's Safety Check and it was the filly who found most for pressure to take the spoils by two and three-quarter lengths.
It was a first two-year-old success for her talented dual-purpose trainer, who has trained over 50 winners since moving to Middleham at the start of the year.
Kirby said: "We've always liked her and she shows plenty of ability at home. She's still very green and I thought this might just be a step too far for her at this stage, but she's done it really well.
"It was a bit of a dangerous job going into a race like this as I actually thought she could run pretty well and that she might mess her mark up for the future, but she's gone and won, so we're not worried about that now.
"I think it looks fair enough form and I don't think there was any fluke about it, so we'll put her away now. She obviously handles that ground well, but she moves well and I don't think it's the be all and end all for her.
"I'm sure there's loads of improvement in her. She's still got to fill out her frame and hopefully she'll be an even better filly next year."
Luca Cumani's Sandown runner-up Norway Cross had no trouble going one better at the second time of asking in the Rugby League World Cup At totepool.com Maiden Stakes, scoring by nine lengths under William Buick as the 7/4 favourite.
Richard Fahey saddled a treble on the afternoon, with Repletion (7/4) claiming the totepool.com Home Of Pool Betting Maiden Auction Stakes and Asgardella (9/2) taking division one of the Collect totepool Winnings At Betfred Shops Handicap, both under Paul Hanagan.
Sandwiched in between was the winning effort of Samantha Bell on Arctic Feeling (7/1) in the totequadpot Four Places In Four Races Handicap,
Pontefract's 2013 season came to a close with victory for Brian Ellison and Tom Eaves in division two as Totalize (9/1) stayed on strongly in the stamina-sapping conditions.