The 28th running of the Phil Bull Trophy at Pontefract races on Monday went to the 4-5 favourite Statutory (writes Graham Orange).
Statutory became only the third dual winner of this conditions race for stayers over two and a quarter miles, following his victory last year.
Now trained at Newmarket by Saeed bin Suroor for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation and ridden by Freddie Tylicki, Statutory once again showed his liking for Pontefract by taking Monday’s renewal by a neck from the fast-finishing Alwilda.
The Godolphin colours were also carried to victory in the opening race - a contest for maiden two-year-olds under the European Breeders’ fund banner - by Oceanographer (6-4 favourite).
Trained at Newmarket by Charlie Appleby and ridden by another former champion apprentice jockey Martin Lane, Oceanographer had two and a half lengths to spare over Mythical City, to win at the second time of asking after making his debut last month at Sandown Park.
Rangi Chase is well known for his exploits on the rugby pitch, and his equine namesake won the afternoon’s claiming race for three-year-olds over one mile in the hands of Franny Norton.
Returned at 5-1, Rangi Chase - trained at Malton by Richard Fahey - took the lead entering the final furlong to win by three and a quarter lengths. It was the eleventh success this season at Pontefract for Fahey, the course’s leading trainer this year.
Mooharib (3-1) won the afternoon’s most valuable race, a handicap contest for three-year-olds over one mile when staying on well to land his third victory of the season by half a length from Top Of The Glas.
Trained at Newmarket by Marco Botti and ridden by Martin Harley (another former champion apprentice jockey), Mooharib’s previous wins this year were also achieved on Yorkshire courses - Doncaster and Ripon.
There was a close finish to the Nursery Handicap for two-year-olds, with Golden Spun (20-1) getting the judge’s verdict by a nose from Russian Heroine.
Trained at Hambleton near Thirsk by Bryan Smart and partnered by Paul Mulrennan, Golden Spun landed this contest for juveniles over six furlongs to continue the good form of his trainer, who the previous day had saddled Moviesta to finish third in the group one sprint at Longchamp in France, the Prix de l’Abbaye.
Thunder Pass (100-30 favourite) landed the Racing UK Anywhere Handicap Stakes for three-year-olds over one mile and a half on only his second start of the season for Berkshire trainer, Hughie Morrison. Ridden by William Buick, Thunder Pass dominated the race to win by three lengths.
Newmarket trainer, John Gosden took the final race - a contest for maiden three-year-olds over one mile - courtesy of the debutant Dubai Star (11-2) in the hands of Robert Havlin. The winning margin was an impressive six lengths.