Jet-setting Monarch on the mark
A round-up of Sunday's action from Pontefract, where Mark Johnston's Regal Monarch signed off on these shores with victory.
Mark Johnston: Trainer of Regal Monarch
Australia-bound Regal Monarch (7/4 favourite) signed off from these shores with a game success in the totepool Live Into Download The App Handicap.
Sporting the colours of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, the Mark Johnston-trained three-year-old won for the fourth time in 2016.
Getting first run in the hands of Franny Norton, he had a length to spare over Mainstream.
"He's just a lovely, genuine horse and he's off to Australia now," said Paul Morrison, of part-owners East Layton Stud.
"Highclere have bought him. We still own a quarter share in him.
"He's off Down Under for two carnivals – the Sydney Carnival and the Melbourne Carnival. He's going to be trained by Chris Waller.
"We ran him at Newmarket when Highclere were involved as well. Harry Herbert has been really kind and let us run him twice.
"The plan has always been to send him to Australia."
Sky Gypsy repaid the faith of connections when getting off the mark at the third attempt with a clear-cut victory in the British Stallion Studs EBF Trevor Woods Memorial Maiden Stakes at Pontefract.
Though she had shown a bit of promise on her first two starts, trainer David Brown was convinced there was more to come and the daughter of Dandy Man finally came up trumps.
Smartly out of the stalls, Sky Gypsy (10/1) soon got into a smooth rhythm for Tom Eaves and kept up the gallop to score by three-quarters of a length from Sheepscar Lad.
Brown said: "She is a really nice filly but she has had little problems.
"The first time she was going to run she wouldn't go in the horsebox.
"The next time she reared up and got upset, then last time she wasn't suited by the undulations at Nottingham. But I thought she would be in business today.
"Originally I had thought about taking her for the Molecomb Stakes (Goodwood) – that has gone now so we might think about the Flying Childers (at Doncaster)."
Another Lincolnday (9/2) ran his rivals into the ground as he made all of the running to take the stamina-sapping Moor Top Farm Shop Hemsworth Handicap.
The five-year-old showed no signs of stopping in his stern test over an extended two miles and a furlong.
The Michael Herrington-trained stayer stuck on stoutly to win by half a length from Riptide to complete a double for Eaves.
"He was off all last year with a leg injury and it's taken some time for him to get back to form," said co-owner John Spensley.
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