Open Eagle turned the Betfred November Handicap into a rout as he flew to a 12-length success in the big race on the last day of the Flat turf season at Doncaster on Saturday.
The David O’Meara-trained gelding was a winner at Redcar on Tuesday but made a mockery of his 4lb penalty as Thirsk’s Danny Tudhope executed a cunning plan.
He took a wide path on the 15-2 favourite down the far side of the track as he sought better ground as Jamie Spencer, having his last British turf ride before retirement, led the bulk of the field on Dashing Star on the inner. Open Eagle was travelling with ease throughout and hit the front with a couple of furlongs to run. It was game over as Open Eagle romped home from Aramist, with Dashing Star and Communicator fourth.
Nick Bradley, bloodstock manager for owners Middleham Park Racing, said: “The tactics have allowed us to win. He was the only horse to run on that part of the track. We figured it out and Danny has done all the hard work. If it works out you’re a genius and if it doesn’t you look daft. Thankfully for us it worked out.
Nawton-based O’Meara said: “He ran well in this race last year (when third). History says you can go wide and gain a bit of an advantage here so from stall 18 it made sense and Danny executed it perfectly.”
Lady Tiana took the step up to Listed level in her stride in winning the Betfred TV EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Gillies Fillies’ Stakes.
And another filly to race on in 2015 is the Mick Easterby-trained Aetna who powered through the testing conditions to bag a first Listed win in the Betfred “Goals Galore” Wentworth Stakes.
The four-year-old filly showed her ability to handle soft ground with victory at York in May and she again excelled on the heavy going as she won by a smooth two and three-quarter lengths under Graham Gibbons from Lancelot Du Lac, with Spinatrix third. Easterby said: “I might take her to France now. She loves that ground. “
Levitate, a 4-1 favourite, landed his fourth course triumph as he repeated last year’s victory in the Betfred Supporting Jack Berry House Handicap.
John Quinn’s mudlover revelled in the conditions as he swept to the front inside the final furlong to score by three lengths from Lulu The Zulu, with King Torus another length away in third.
Dean Ivory’s Stake Acclaim ploughed through testing conditions in great style to run out a comfortable winner of the Betfred Mobile Cock O’The North EBF Maiden Stakes Division One under Robert Winston while the Mick Channon-trained Mobsta also looked good when bounding home in division two under Charles Bishop.
David Probert brought home the David Evans-trained Anonymous John 10 lengths clear of the field in the Betfred ‘Racing’s Biggest Supporter’ Nursery while Jacob Butterfield had a fitting end to his best turf season with his 24th winner on Mujazif for trainer Dandy Nicholls in the Betfred Bingo Apprentice Handicap.