Former Irish pointer Foxylee (Left) made her experience count with a pillar to post success in the 2m4f Goffs Young Horse Series Maiden Race for four & five-year-olds. Confidently ridden by equine vet Tom Chatfeild-Roberts, the five-year-old was always in her comfort zone at the head of affairs and repelled all challengers down the home straight to score by seven lengths from odds-on favourite Occupied Territory (Jack Andrews), with Red Delta (John Dawson) and Bentley Road (Lyall Hodgins) a head and short head away in 3rd and 4th respectively.
Waltham-on-the-Wolds trainer Kelly Morgan loves her trips up the A1 to Alnwick and Foxylee was her 7th winner from 10 runners at the track in the last two years.
The Mahler mare was bought for £20,000 at Goffs UK Doncaster Sale in May after finishing runner-up on both starts between the flags in Ireland last season. Her dam Adderstonlee ran three times as a five-year-old in the Northern Area in 2013 from Alastair Bell's Hawick yard and had form figures of P3P.
James King made his first visit to Alnwick one to remember with a treble on the Max Comley-trained geldings Wagner,
Jay Bee Whiskey and Burtown at the Ratcheugh Racing Club fixture on Sunday.
After going under by a length to Captain Woodie on his reappearance at Badbury Rings five weeks ago, Wagner (Left) went one better in the PJR Blewitt Ltd Men's Open Race. Always close up before hitting the front four out, the eight-year-old stayed on well down the home straight to beat odds-on favourite Sine Nomine (John Dawson) by three lengths.
Comley, who has 25 horses in training at his Naunton yard near Cheltenham, said: ''He was knocking at the door on most of his Pointing runs last season, so it's great for him to get his head in front again in Open company.''
Last month's Badbury Rings Maiden winner Jay Bee Whiskey (Right) followed up in style as he turned the closing stages of the Sharpley Golf Restricted Race into a procession, forging clear from three out to score by an eased down twenty lengths from Monknash (John Dawson).
Comley said: ''He showed the benefit of a previous run and is a different horse to last season. The Intermediate Final at Cheltenham's Hunter Chase meeting in May would be the long term aim if he continues to progress.''
A red letter day for King and Comley was completed by Burtown's (Left) victory in the 3m Country Food Trust Maiden Race in which the last three fences were omitted due to the low sun.Sent on a mile from home, the six-year-old was out on his own at the top of the hill approaching three out and, despite getting a bit lonely in front, kept on well to beat the promising Whatsgoingon (Joe Wright) by five lengths.
Comley said: ''The winner is owned by my landlord Neil O'Hara who bought him privately in Ireland earlier this year after he had finished runner-up at Lisronagh. I'd never even had a double before, so this is extra special and I'll probably make the 580-mile round trip again for one of the January meetings.''
Comley has made a great start to the new campaign with 5 winners from 9 runners, while the treble took King's career tally between the flags to 195, including 8 this season, and he has also ridden 50 winners under Rules.
At the other end of the scale, 18-year-old Shay Halton's first Pointing ride on 127-rated hurdler Wild Romance (Far Right) was a winning one in the 10-runner Ratcheugh Racing Club Conditions Race. In receipt of 7lb from her rivals, the eight-year-old found another gear from the last where he was still two lengths down to edge in front on the line and snatch a short head verdict over the gallant Bintheredonethat ridden by another debutante Eloise Justice-Vose.
This was also a first training success with his first runner for Simon Olley, assistant trainer at Philip Kirby's East Appleton yard near Catterick.
The former Dan Skelton-trained winner had previously finished three lengths 2nd to Does He Know in the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in November 2020 but was then off the track for 743 days before failing to deliver in four subsequent outings over fences. Now owned by Halton's father Rick, he was bought for £13,000 at Goffs UK Doncaster Sale in May.
Coincidentally, Shay's first ride on the Flat was also a winner. He steered the Philip Kirby-trained Brillian to victory in a 6f contest at Chelmsford on May 11 and at 8st7lb definitely has no weight issues.
Halton, who has been based with Kirby for two years, said: ''I thought she might need the run but apart from a mistake at the final ditch (seven out) she jumped and travelled well. She came back on the bridle coming up the hill to three out and seems well suited by a test of stamina.''
Few horses in the North can match the consistency of Ballydonagh Boy (Right) over the last two years and the admirable nine-year-old delivered again with a gutsy front-running performance in the Newton Hall Ladies Open Race. Under a positive ride from Rosie Howarth, he maintained a relentless gallop and never looked like being caught from three out. Keeping on well up the run-in, he still had three lengths to spare over the fast-finishing Cash Again (Becca Shepherd) at the line.
This was Howarth's 20th career winner, including 2 under Rules, and a return visit to Alnwick with Ballydonagh Boy on January 7 is on the cards.