Maidens Go West At Nottingham
Maidens Go West At Nottingham
Sporting Life

Sir Henry Cecil

Westwiththenight and Marine Girl both looked to have their best times in front of them after victories in the respective divisions of the Warren Board World of Board Maiden Stakes at Nottingham.

The former went off the even-money favourite in the famous black and white colours of Anthony Oppenheimer after showing signs of ability at two, including when runner-up to Lingfield Oaks Trial third Estrela.

Ridden patiently by Richard Hughes over the extended mile, she mowed down Tom Queally and the Sir Henry Cecil-trained Ukrainian Princess in the final strides.

The owner’s racing manager Hugo Lascelles, who was with Oppenheimer in Ireland at the time, said: “We’re both very pleased and William Haggas has done very well with her.

“There was a bit of promise and hopefully there’s some blue sky now and she can go onwards and upwards. She should get a bit further.”

No horse caught the eye more than Cecil’s Marine Girl (11-1) in division one.

Queally’s mount, the only filly in the race, was slowly away and looked as if she would simply close in for a place but fairly took off in the closing stages to poke a nose in front of 13-8 favourite Kaafel on the line.

Champion jockey Paul Hanagan was a notable booking for Jennie Candlish in the Winning Way With DG Cars Handicap and he did not let connections down with a precise ride on Maoi Chinn Tire.

Best known for causing a huge surprise when a 200-1 winner of a Listed juvenile hurdle at Wetherby in October 2010, the gelding had barely stopped since that day until his final run on the all-weather last August.

Not quite such a price at 6-1 here, Maoi Chinn Tire was keen in the early stages but produced to lead with two furlongs of the two miles remaining and kept about his work to hold Hallstatt by three-quarters of a length.

“He had a break as he had a long campaign last year,” said Candlish’s partner, jump jockey Alan O’Keeffe.

“He came back fresh and well and we thought the step up to two miles might suit.

“He was left to travel and relax and the ride Paul gave today probably have helped.”

We will see plenty more of him in the coming weeks, as O’Keeffe told Racing UK: “The key to him is good ground and I hope we’ll have a good summer with him. He’ll go chasing soon, maybe Cartmel in 10 days’ time and maybe mix it on the Flat. He’s versatile, we might even step him up in trip over jumps.”

Windhoek (11-1) put in a capital performance on his debut to defy the more experienced Janoub Nibraas in the’E.B.F. Think Taxi Think DG 01159500500 Maiden Stakes.

Mark Johnston’s juvenile looked green under pressure and hung into Richard Hannon’s 11-8 favourite but was a short-head in front on the line.

Another of the stronger events was the Meet Peppa Pig On Family Day Fillies’ Handicap and it turned into a terrific finish with the power of Kieren Fallon allowing Dulkashe to nail Eluding and Mikael Barzalona by a neck. The pair were closely matched on maiden form last year.

Franny Norton fired Available (14-1) home in the Book For Family Day 3rd June Handicap.

The filly was making her debut for Derbyshire trainer John Mackie, who said: “We claimed her from Jim Boyle, who was very helpful and told us all about her.

“We didn’t really know what was going to happen here but we were very pleased. I’m not sure I’d run her on ground that quick again and she can come back stiff, so I won’t be rushing to get her out.”

Bilash (6-1) got the better of a messy Warren Board New Dimension Handicap with Bitaphon (28-1) taking the rewards4racing Classified Stakes.

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