Lee lands £40,000 race at rain-lashed Pontefract

Graham Lee steers Audacia to victory in the �40,000 listed race.  Picture: Alan Wright (Official Photographers Ltd).
Graham Lee steers Audacia to victory in the �40,000 listed race. Picture: Alan Wright (Official Photographers Ltd).

Graham Lee, the north’s leading jockey this season, rode his 67th winner of the campaign when landing the feature race at Pontefract on Tuesday (writes Graham Orange).

Lee won the Weatherbys VAT Services Pipalong Stakes on Audacia - the 12-1 winner of this £40,000 listed race for fillies and mares over one mile.

Trained at Newmarket by Hugo Palmer, Audacia made light of the deteriorating weather conditions to take the lead inside the final furlong to win by one length from Dutch Rose.

Apart from the final race, the action on Tuesday was held in torrential rain, which meant that the ground changed to soft after the second race.

My Name Is Rio (9-1) took the main supporting race, the King Richard III Stakes, a handicap contest for sprinters over six furlongs. Trained near Darlington by Michael Dods and ridden by Paul Mulrennan, My Name Is Rio had won his first two races of the season at Thirsk and Newcastle in April, and he got back to winning ways when repelling the challenge of Secret Look to win by a neck.

The Dianne Nursery Handicap Stakes – traditionally the first nursery handicap for two-year-olds of the season at Pontefract – was won by Miami Carousel (11-1).

The son of Zebedee stayed on strongly to win impressively by three and a half lengths in this six furlongs dash for Malton trainer John Quinn and apprentice rider Joe Doyle.

Another apprentice jockey to shine on Tuesday was George Chaloner (who rode a winner last month at Royal Ascot), when he guided Woodacre (9-2) to victory in the Hilco Appraisal Handicap Stakes over one mile and a quarter.

Trained at Scarcroft near Leeds by Richard Whitaker (and bred at his Hellwood Stud Farm), Woodacre got the better of Epsom Hill in a close finish by a neck, the two finishing well clear of the rest.

Kevin Ryan, who trains at Hambleton near Thirsk, is enjoying a fine season (he recently won the French Derby with The Grey Gatsby) and Straits Of Malacca (16-1) produced a good performance to land the Colliers International Asset Advisory Handicap Stakes - a contest for three-year-old sprinters over five furlongs.

It was the first win of the season for Straits Of Malacca, who was partnered by Tom Eaves to victory by one length and a quarter.

Mizzou, who cost 275,000 guineas as a yearling, won at the second time of asking, when coming home seven lengths clear of Di’s Gift in The Marvellous Tea Dance Company Maiden Stakes over one mile and a half.

Trained at Newmarket by Luca Cumani and ridden by Danny Tudhope, Mizzou was returned the evens favourite.

Tuesday’s concluding race, the Pontefract Sports and Education Foundation Handicap Stakes - a contest for three-year-olds over one mile-– went to Green Zone (5-2 favourite).

After three consecutive third places, Green Zone ran out an impressive winner by five lengths for Malton trainer, Nigel Tinkler and jockey Silvestre de Sousa.

The annual Red Shirt Night Meeting, which incorporates a beer festival, takes place next Friday evening (July 18) at Pontefract.

The first race is scheduled for 6.30pm.