A COOL Adam Kirby got Tryster home for an impressive success in the coral.co.uk Winter Derby at Lingfield.
The Charlie Appleby-trained four-year-old arrived in search of a four-timer and his rider was happy to travel towards the rear early in the ten-furlong contest, as Afonso de Sousa made it under Danny Tudhope.
Still nearer last than first turning in with Frankie Dettori electing to kick for home on Cloudscape, Kirby needed the gaps to come in the straight but the 3-1 favourite had plenty of gears to take them when they did. Weaving through, the Shamardal gelding cut down last year’s runner-up Grendisar to win with three-quarters of a length in hand. Grandeur was another head away in third.
Appleby said: “I said to Adam to go and ride him with plenty of confidence and he is an exciting horse going forward. One of the best plans we made was to skip the trial here for this race. He has the potential to run on Good Friday, we will just see how he comes out of it. When you get a confident horse at this time of year, you never know where they will end up. He is in super condition and has plenty of scope.”
Kirby said: “It was a bit messy going into the first couple of turns, and I was a length further back than I wanted to be. They weren’t going much of a pace, they all grouped up on the inside and I just waited for a gap. He likes to get there late and is pretty special, he is improving with every run and is very smart.”
Just over 30 minutes later Kirby again tasted victory with the Appleby stable when Pretend produced a spectacular burst to sweep from last to first in the Unibet Hever Sprint Stakes.
The horse had it all to do against some smart sprinters straightening in and the game looked up when Masamah took a few lengths out of the field a furlong or so out.
But once engaging top gear, the 11-10 favourite made up the ground in rapid fashion to beat Alben Star by a length and a quarter.
Appleby said: “Adam has had a lot of confidence in this horse from the start and when you get a horse with an engine like that and a rider who has great confidence in the horse, it is a perfect combination.”
Goonyella led home an Irish one-two in a gruelling race for the Betfred Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter. The eight-year-old, trained by Jim Dreaper, whose late father Tom was responsible for legendary chaser Arkle, kept on dourly in the straight to beat his compatriot Raz De Maree.
It was a notable triumph for 3lb claimer Johnny Burke, retained rider for winning owners Ann and Alan Potts. There was drama early on when Global Power fell at the first, while groans followed as the well-backed Catching On, ridden by Tony McCoy, fell at the eighth fence causing Summery Justice to part company with Liam Treadwell. McCoy was quickly on his feet as he walked gingerly away.
Samingarry, Cadeau George and Rigadin De Beauchene cut out the running until the fourth-last fence when the testing conditions took their toll. Goonyella and Hawkes Point went on and it was the former, sent off at 6-1, who proved the strongest in the field as he won by nine lengths from the Sandra Hughes-trained Raz De Maree (20-1).
Woodford County (11-1) stuck on for third with Hawkes Point (9-1) fourth and Foxbridge (10-1) fifth.