GBI RACING

Mokaatil claims Pontefract prize for Ian Williams

Mokaatil put his training troubles behind him when getting up in the shadow of the post to take the feature Riu Hotels And Resorts Handicap at Pontefract.

PJ McDonald produced the Ian Williams-trained four-year-old with a tremendous late rattle to pip Pipers Note by a neck to register only the second success of his career.

The son of Lethal Force had won once in eight starts for Owen Burrows before being bought by Williams for £18,000 at Goffs UK Sales in September.

After five failed attempts on the all-weather for the Alvechurch handler, Mookatil (10-1) finally came good in this five-furlong dash.

“He had his problems, but Ian has managed to straighten him out,” said Williams’ representative, his brother Julian.

“He’s done it nicely and hopefully he’ll have another one in him.”

Pipers Note’s jockey Jack Garritty was banned for three days for careless riding.

Garritty had compensation when winning the concluding mile handicap on Conundrum (11-2) for trainer Jedd O’Keeffe.

Tristan Davidson plans to aim Rubenesque at this season’s Pontefract Stayers Championship after the mare took round two in decision fashion.

The seven-year-old would have a good chance of landing the series on the evidence of her all-the-way success in the marathon handicap over two miles, five furlongs and 139 yards.

Jason Hart was in total control throughout and Rubenesque (6-4 favourite) was able to come home with a two-and-a-quarter-length advantage over Tynecastle Park.

“She’s a good little mare. She loves this fast ground. When she ran here last backend it was on the soft side and she still ran good races,” said Carlisle-based Davidson, who has 16 horses in training.

“I’d love to have a go at this series.”

Hortzadar (12-1) put up an impressive display on his British debut when running away with the Napoleons Casino Bradford Handicap.

The four-year-old, formerly trained in France by Francis-Henri Graffard, swept to victory by eight lengths under David Nolan on his first run for David O’Meara, who was also responsible for the second, Courtside.

“We didn’t overdo this horse just for today. I was a small bit concerned about the ground, but he’s obviously not minded it. He’s a grand horse.” said O’Meara.

Alminoor looked a sharp early two-year-old to follow when leading all the way in the Farmer Copleys GFF Farm-Shop Of The Year 2019 EBF Novice Stakes.

The Kodiac colt was sent off the 4-9 favourite following a narrow defeat on his debut two weeks ago and his supporters hardly had an anxious moment as the Mark Johnston-trained youngster she scooted four and a half lengths clear under Dane O’Neill.

“It’s hard to tell what that means at this time of year, but it was good he set the record straight,” said Johnston.

“We don’t work them over more than three furlongs at home this time of year. I knew he was sharp enough for that. I’m not thinking beyond five at the moment.”

James Bethell saddled the first and third in the Thanks And Happy Retirement Richard Pemberton Fillies’ Novice Stakes as Melrose Way (20-1) made a winning debut with stablemate Sophia Maria taking minor honours. Texting was second with a short head and a neck separating the trio.

“The two fillies have been working together so there was not much between them, but I thought with Melrose Way’s draw (14) she would lack the experience,” said Bethell.

“I’m pleased. I nearly took her out because of the ground. It was firm enough for her there.”

Melrose Way’s rider Graham Lee completed a double on Johnny Cavagin (7-2) for Paul Midgley in Division Two of the Golden Horseracing Club Is With Robert Stewart Handicap.

Scott Dixon’s Socialites Red (3-1 favourite), partnered by 5lb-claiming apprentice Theodore Ladd, took the first split.

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