McMillan targets Northumberland Plate for O Ma Lad

O MA LAD is after an even bigger prize later this summer after landing the Buttonhook Handicap at Hamilton Park’s opening meeting of the campaign.

Ridden by Michael O’Connell and trained by John Quinn, the 4-1 favourite stayed on gamely to beat The Tiger by three-quarters of a length. The five-year-old is owned by north-east man Bob McMillan, who said: “The dream is to go for the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle in June but he will probably go to Chester before that. He could have a bright future.”

O’Connell added: “He was idling a little when he hit the front and he isn’t just a stayer. I’d say he’s got a bit of improvement to come and he travelled well all through the race for me.”

The other feature race, the totepool Mobile Tangerine Trees Conditions Stakes, went to Richard Fahey and Tony Hamilton with Polski Max. Martin Booth, representing owners Market Avenue Racing Racing, said: “This syndicate has grown since we got a few footballers involved and they include Paul Scholes and John O’Shea.”

l Orb, ridden by Joel Rosario and prepared by homebred trainer Shug McGaughey, won the 139th Kentucky Derby at a wet and muddy Churchill Downs on Saturday. After settling near the rear of the field in the sloppy conditions, Orb steadily worked his way into contention, then pinned back his ears and sprinted to the front at the iconic Twin Spires and kicked clear to win the $2 million, ten- furlong classic. Golden Soul, a long shot who enjoyed a trouble free journey along the rails, finished gamely to grab second while Revolutionary was third in the 19-horse field.