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Pontefract report: Mr Professor hands Alice Haynes biggest career win

Mon 18 Oct 2021

Mr Professor gave fledgling trainer Alice Haynes her biggest success in her first campaign with a game performance in the British Stallion Studs EBF Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract.

Mr Professor strikes in the £50,000 highlight at Pontefract

The Profitable gelding stayed on strongly at the end of the Listed contest over a mile to thwart odds-on favourite Westover by a neck.

Approachability made most of the running and stuck to his task well for third after being overhauled by Westover and Mr Professor (16-1).

Silvestre de Sousa got more out of the latter, who just did enough to land the spoils and make up for finishing last of 10 in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket nine days earlier.

“It’s fantastic. He’s a horse that has kept on improving this year,” said Newmarket-based Haynes.

“The straight track at Newmarket is where he let us down. He just didn’t settle there.

“The (soft) ground was an unknown today, but he battled all the way to the line and he wasn’t doing a lot in front.

“He’s come out of his races so well. We weigh ours every Monday, and he’s put eight kilogrammes on. He’s filled out and done well.

“He’s going to the sales next week. We’ll see what money there is for him.

“He’ll be a mile-and-a-quarter horse next year. We thought he was a firm-ground horse, but he’s versatile in that respect.”

Alice Haynes talks to Racing TV's Chris Dixon after her biggest career success in her first season with a licence

As for her own progress, she added: “It’s unbelievable really. I wanted 10 winners for the year, and that’s my 17th, and to have a Listed winner is what dreams are made of. I’ve got to keep on building on it for next year.”

Stag Horn gave a dour front-running display to land the Phil Bull Trophy Conditions Stakes for the second year running.

The 4-7 favourite, trained by Archie Watson, relished the stamina test run in grim conditions to beat Notation by two and three-quarter lengths in the hands of Hollie Doyle.

“He felt back to his best. He’s settling better these days – he’s grown up a lot,” said Doyle.

“Obviously he loves it around here. It keeps him interested, and he loves this ground, so everything was in his favour.

“It’s a big ask making all and giving 8lb, and more, as well. I was a bit worried – but he was the best horse on the day.”

Hollie Doyle speaks to Chris Dixon after success at Pontefract

Greenbarn (11-4) showed the benefit of an encouraging debut – when third five weeks ago – to win the Northern Commercials Iveco And Fiat Restricted Novice Stakes.

Stepping up six furlongs, the Michael Dods-trained sister to smart sprint handicapper Blackrod shrugged off the evens favourite Manila Scouse to score by a length and a three-quarters.

Dods, celebrating his 59th birthday, said: “She was a bit backward early on. David (Armstrong, owner/breeder) said ‘don’t rush her’ so we guarded her and we got a run into her at Beverley where she was a bit green. Then I thought it might be too soft for her here – but she’s sharpened up a lot for the run, and I think she’s a filly who’ll have a nice future.

Michael Dods believes his birthday winner Greenbarn will make into a nice prospect next year

“We’ll probably put her away now and send her back to the stud and look forward to next year with her, and I think she could probably come back to five furlongs.”

Trainer Hughie Morrison and jockey Jason Hart enjoyed a double with Reelemin and Thunderclap.

Reelemin (3-1 favourite) is unbeaten in two starts on turf, after taking the Harriet Bethell’s IJF Pontefract Course Walk Nursery Handicap by a length and a half from Greatness Awaits. The Highland Reel colt won at Ffos Las last month but has been beaten in four starts on Kempton’s all-weather track.

Thunderclap (11-4 favourite) stormed up the stands rail to take the Allen Hinchcliffe Memorial Handicap by five lengths from Molinari.

Hart went on to complete a treble when steering home Yukon Mission (4-1) in division two of the Steve Lumb Quest For the Cheapest Pint Handicap, while the first division went to the Richard Fahey-trained Patsy Fagan (12-1), ridden by Paul Hanagan.

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