Jockey Hanagan lands double at Pontefract

Hemingway (left), ridden by Kevin Stott, won the opening race on Sunday. Picture: Alan Wright.
Hemingway (left), ridden by Kevin Stott, won the opening race on Sunday. Picture: Alan Wright.

Pontefract held the final day of the Go Racing in Yorkshire summer festival on Sunday (writes Richard Hammill).

With over 100,000 racegoers going racing in Yorkshire over the week, it was a fantastic promotion for racing in the county.

With some cracking racing and great on-course activities, Pontefract certainly played its part in a brilliant week.

The feature race on the track, the listed Sky Bet Go-Racing-In-Yorkshire Summer Festival went the way of the smart Convey for the Sir Michael Stoute/Ryan Moore team.

Last seen in the group two Summer Mile at Ascot, Convey had been considered a 2,000 Guineas contender last year before injury intervened.

He’s faced some tough tasks recently but this success will have done his confidence the world of good and connections are hopeful that he can go on and fulfil his potential.

He holds an entry for the group two Celebration Mile at Goodwood in August and it’ll be interesting to see if he can resume his progression once more.

The Stoute team doubled up when Khairaat took the Gordon Duker Memorial, going into many people’s note books in doing so.

Still a big baby, the Shamardal colt had made a highly promising debut when runner up at Salisbury and made no mistake in going one better, sprinting away from the well regarded Confident Kid from the Godolphin team.

Khairaat’s rider, Paul Hanagan, himself went on to record a double on the day when Jack Luey made every yard of the running and sprinted away with the closing race.

A real favourite in the Lawrence Mullaney yard, the nine year old rolled back the years and, if maintaining his form, will continue to pay his way.

There were a couple of other notable front running performances on the day as Chant won the Pontefract and District Golf Club Handicap and Save The Bees took the Sandal BMW Handicap.

The latter bravely quickened from the front under 7lb claimer Ger O’Neill while the Ann Duffield trained Chant never saw another rival and was particularly impressive winning what looked a competitive handicap off top weight of 10 stone.

Ann Duffield was earlier touched off in the opening Fly High Faye Nickels Maiden when her Peach Pavlova was collared in the shadows of the post.

The race had been farmed by Ann Duffield and Richard Fahey who, between them, had won six out of the last 10 runnings.

They were responsible for four of the six runners this year but it was Kevin Ryan’s Hemingway who took the glory on Sunday.

It was just the gelding’s second run, having kicked off his career in a strong looking six furlong maiden at York which his yard has a particularly good record in.

He’s well regarded, though reportedly a bit of a handful, and will continue to improve as he learns the game.

The tiesplanet.com Handicap went the way of Mishaal, another brave front running winner on the card who gamely fended off allcomers in the class three six furlong handicap. Silvestre De Sousa, riding favourite Reputation, endured a nightmare passage and would surely have gone close had he been able to get through.