BORIS Grigoriev finally returned to winning ways for Mick Easterby in the Brewin Dolphin Handicap on the opening afternoon of Ayr’s three-day Western Meeting.
Last successful at Tipperary in 2011 when trained by Aidan O’Brien, he had a rating of 101 when the veteran handler paid 34,000 guineas for him.
In 12 races last season and one prior to this, the four-year-old had shown precious little of the form he possessed at Ballydoyle and his handicap mark had dropped alarmingly.
However, after a lengthy break he was sent off joint-favourite after a gamble at Ayr last month but could finish only fifth of nine runners.
Graham Gibbons managed to grab a rail this time though, shooting clear a furlong out before holding on to beat Go Go Green by a neck at 10-1.
“It’s a pity he didn’t do it the last day, but the ground and trip was probably against him then,” Gibbons told Racing UK. “He’d been out of form but we knew we sort of had him half-right, but it probably took the last run to get his confidence back and get him going the right way.
“Even early doors today, I had to give him two out of the boxes to get him where I wanted him to be, but once I was in the firing line I was confident.”
David Barron’s Red Stargazer made a winning debut at 12-1 in the S.T. Andrew Plant Hire Maiden Auction Stakes.
Robert Winston, who went on to complete a treble, bided his time on the winner before going on to win by three and a half lengths.Winston later won the first division of the Quality And Value At Irish Yearling Sales Handicap on John Quinn’s Evanescent (8-1).
The second division of the handicap was won by the David Nicholls’-trained 5-1 joint-favourite Llewellyn ridden by 7lb -claimer Jordan Nason.
The feature William Hill - Download The App Handicap was won by Richard Fahey’s Hi There (7-1) in a photo finish from Brian Ellison’s Beaumont’s Party.