Pontefract winner could be heading for Royal Ascot

A thrilling finish to the RIU Palace Meloneras Handicap Stakes at Pontefract on Monday. The race was won by York Glory (blinkers), ridden by  Neil Callan, with Galican (far side) in second place. PICTURE: BRIAN LUNN.
A thrilling finish to the RIU Palace Meloneras Handicap Stakes at Pontefract on Monday. The race was won by York Glory (blinkers), ridden by Neil Callan, with Galican (far side) in second place. PICTURE: BRIAN LUNN.

York Glory is held in high esteem by his trainer Kevin Ryan and the sprinter showed his undoubted ability at Pontefract on Monday (writes Graham Orange).

York Glory won the feature race, the RIU Palace Meloneras Handicap Stakes over six furlongs, by a neck in a barnstorming finish, despite drawn in stall number 14 out of 14 in the £20,000 contest.

Based at Hambleton near Thirsk, Ryan said that York Glory (returned at 17-2) could be aimed at the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, via next month’s Group Two Duke Of York Stakes at York – a race Ryan won last year with Tiddliwinks.

Neil Callan was the jockey in the saddle, and he demonstrated his coolness in overcoming the seemingly bad draw and fact that York Glory pulled a shoe off prior to going in the stalls. It was the second time the five-year-old had won at Pontefract.

The Pontefract Marathon Handicap Stakes - Britain’s longest handicap race on the flat – went the way of Kazbow (4-1), trained at Garstang in Lancashire by Richard Ford and ridden by former champion apprentice jockey Freddie Tylicki.

A winner of two races on the all-weather track at Southwell in February, Kazbow dominated this contest over two miles, five and a half furlongs to lead from start to finish despite carrying top weight and had four and a half lengths to spare over Stickleback.

Former champion jockey Paul Hanagan partnered Mayaasem (3-1) to victory in the Subscribe Online @racinguk.com Maiden Stakes.

The three-year-old filly, owned by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum and trained at Lambourn in Berkshire by Charlie Hills, took the lead a furlong out, and despite edging left, landed this sprint contest over six furlongs by a length and a half from Bastion.

Blue Wave (2-1 favourite) continued the fine start to the season of Middleham trainer Mark Johnston and stable jockey Joe Fanning when taking the Pontefract’s Got Talent Night On 7th June Handicap Stakes, a contest for three-year-olds over one mile and a half.

Having set a steady pace in the early stages, Blue Wave quickened impressively to stay on well and win by eight lengths to follow up his win twelve days’ previously on the all-weather surface at Kempton Park.

Michael Appleby, who trains near Newark, sent out Mops Angel (4-1) to win the opening race on Monday, a contest for maiden two-year-old fillies.

Ridden by Andrew Mullen, Mops Angel had finished an eye-catching fourth on her debut last month in the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster, and she took up the lead inside the final furlong to prevail by a length and three-quarters. Appleby also bred this daughter of Piccolo.

Frontier Fighter (7-2) had recorded three victories on the all-weather tracks this year, and he transferred that form onto turf when winning the concluding contest, a handicap race over one mile.

Trained at Nawton near Helmsley by David O’Meara and partnered by Danny Tudhope, Frontier Fighter took up the lead just over a furlong out to win by a length and a quarter from Shadowtime.