Stars shines in Haydock shock

Reachforthestars wins the Betway Middle Distance Handicap Stakes

David O'Meara pulled a rabbit out of the hat at Haydock as Reachforthestars landed the Betway Middle Distance Handicap.

Without a win since her debut as a two-year-old, the 16-1 chance was attempting 10 furlongs for the first time.

Settled in second by Danny Tudhope behind the favourite Materialisitic, the daughter of Sea The Stars took it up with over a furlong to run and held off the challenge of Pirate Look to win a shade cosily in the end.

"The plan was to pop out and be positive, but Materialistic was a little keen and I was just hoping they didn't get racing too far out," said O'Meara.

"She's been racing like she needed further and I think she will get further again.

"She enjoys a little bit of cut in the ground, but there's no grand plan."

Pennsylvania Dutch survived a drift in the market to remain unbeaten in the Betway Sprint Handicap.

Sent off at 5-1 having been 9-4 in the morning, the William Haggas-trained winner picked up well from way off the pace under Ben Curtis.

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Bellevarde was half a length away in second, just holding off Fantasy Keeper who was outpaced from halfway before staying on.

"I was supposed to ride him about three weeks ago at Leicester, but he got upset in the stalls and couldn't run," said Curtis.

"He was very green still, just the second run of his life, and there should be more to come.

"He had a spell with Gary Witheford (stalls handler) and he deserves a lot of credit because he never turned a hair today."

Haggas doubled up in the closing Betway Mile Handicap when Zwayyan (4-1) returned to winning ways under Pat Cosgrave.

Handsome Dude came out on top in a three-way photo-finish to win the Betway Dash Handicap.

David Barron's five-year-old had finished second to the improving Naggers last time out and was sent off 8-1 to go one better.

Major Pusey and Snap Shots had been up there throughout and had fought off everything else, but David Probert stuck to the rail and won by a head.

"I was confident he'd get there when he stuck his head down," said Probert.

"I just wasn't totally sure if I'd won as I was quite far away from the others.

"I had the rail to help me and he really enjoys this ground."

Mjjack (100-30) is likely to take a hammering from the handicapper after winning the Betwayy Handicap by four and a half lengths for Karl Burke and Clifford Lee.


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