Queally celebrates birthday with Pontefract double

MARFORD Missile, ridden by Graham Gibbons, won Monday's claiming race for three year olds. PICTURE: BRIAN LUNN.
MARFORD Missile, ridden by Graham Gibbons, won Monday's claiming race for three year olds. PICTURE: BRIAN LUNN.

CLASSIC-winning jockey, Tom Queally, who is set to partner the great Frankel on British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, celebrated his 28th birthday by riding two winners at Pontefract on Monday (writes Graham Orange).

Queally’s first winner was on board Lieutenant Miller (11-1) in the afternoon’s race for stayers, the Phil Bull Trophy.

Trained at Lambourn by Nicky Henderson, one of the country’s leading jumps trainers, Lieutenant Miller just got up in the dying strides to deny the odds-on favourite Zuider Zee by a short head in this conditions contest over two and a quarter miles.

It was a tremendous duel to the line as Petaluma and Darley Sun were also involved in the finish.

After winning a couple of times over hurdles, Lieutenant Miller was making his debut on the flat at the age of six, and he could make his presence felt next season on the level.

Abundantly (10-1) provided Queally with his second winner of the afternoon by landing the Laurie Baker 60th Birthday Handicap Stakes for three-year-olds over one mile and a half.

This filly, trained at East Ilsley, near Newbury, by Hughie Morrison, made steady progress throughout the race to win convincingly by two and a quarter lengths.

Another classic-winning jockey Mickael Barzalona was on the scoreboard on Monday, courtesy of Restraint Of Trade (4-9 favourite) in the open race - a contest for maiden two-year-olds.

Fresh from his victory in last month’s St Leger at Doncaster on Encke, last year’s Derby-winning rider looked confident on the juvenile to win by nine lengths in the royal blue colours of Godolphin for Newmarket trainer, Mahmood al Zarooni.

Godolphin’s colours were also carried to victory in the final race, a contest for maiden three-year-olds over one mile. This time, the silks were worn by Silvestre de Sousa as A’Juba (6-5 favourite) obliged for Newmarket trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

After a couple of second places, A’Juba stayed on well to land the spoils by a length.

Kevin Ryan, who trains at Hambleton, near Thirsk, has his horses in fine form, and Delores Rocket (28-1) landed the Jeff and Margaret Smith Memorial Nursery Handicap for two-year-olds over six furlongs.

Ridden by apprentice jockey Julie Burke, Delores Rocket (a winner at Carlisle last month) grabbed the lead inside the final furlong to prevail by a length and a half.

Fire Ship (2-1 favourite) followed up his impressive victory at Windsor in August to win the handicap contest for three-year-olds over one mile.

Trained in West Sussex by William Knight and ridden by Eddie Ahern, Fire Ship had to battle for his success, the winning margin being three-quarters of a length.

Cheshire-based trainer, Tom Dascombe sent out Marford Missile (11-4) to take the afternoon’s claiming race for three-year-olds in the hands of Graham Gibbons.

It was Marford Missile’s third consecutive victory in this type of race, and the gelding had a length to spare over Lisiere.

Pontefract’s final meeting of 2012 takes place on Monday week (October 22) when racing is scheduled to begin at 2.10pm. The feature race is the totepool Silver Tankard Stakes, a listed race for two-year-olds.