Yarmouth double for Fran Berry
A review of the action from Great Yarmouth on Thursday, where jockey Fran Berry enjoyed two wins from just two rides.
Fran Berry: On target with Yarmouth brace
Fran Berry could become a more frequent visitor to Yarmouth if his first trip to the Norfolk track is anything to go by after he claimed a double from his only two rides on the card to ensure he left the course with a perfect record.
Although a degree of improvement was expected from Desert Skyline following his debut effort at Kempton, not even the Group One-winning rider could have predicted the 40/1 success of the David Elsworth-trained gelding in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.
Berry said: "He was extremely green at Kempton. When the penny dropped at Kempton he came home well. He just travelled well today and you could make use of his big long stride over the straight mile.
"When he got headed by the Queen's horse (Merlin) he was maybe still a bit green but when he got himself organised and changed his legs he picked up well.
"He improved far more than I expected. David was confident he could cause a surprise and outrun his odds."
While success for Desert Skyline may have come as surprise, the victory for Tropical Rock (7/1) was less of a shock in the Rachel Keatley Memorial Nursery Handicap.
After shedding her maiden status at Windsor on her last start the Ralph Beckett-trained filly proved an opening mark of 77 was not beyond her when taking the six-furlong prize by two and a half lengths.
Berry said: "She has come good again. I tried to tuck her back to try and get her travelling and to get some cover. She took me to the front soon than I wanted, but she stuck at it well.
"She is definitely getting sharper with racing. I would not rule out her getting seven furlongs as she was relaxed today."
He added: "It has been great here today with two rides and two winners."
There was no splitting Taffeta Lady and Notice in the EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Fillies' Handicap with the judge calling the result a dead-heat.
Although Jamie Spencer appeared to have forged the head of the David Simcock-trained Notice (4/1) in front at the right time, she was reeled back in by Lucy Wadham's Taffeta Lady (6/1) close home for a share of the spoils.
Wadham said: "We are thrilled with that and I am happy to split it.
"I thought the other one had got there, then at the last second she pushed her nose out. I've never had a dead-heat before. She was really brave."
Spencer said: "It was tight and you can never be sure. She ran well and you can see there is more progress in her. She has got a bit to learn."
David Menuisier was another to celebrate his first winner at the seaside venue after Kaatskill Nap came from last to first to take the Greene King IPA Handicap.
In race of changing fortunes the 8/1 shot burst through from the rear of field, before drawing away inside the closing stages and crossing the line six lengths clear of early leader Myopic.
Menuisier said: "He had a really hard race in a maiden at Haydock on his second run back. He went back to Haydock and the horse was on the back foot. I just think he remembered the hard race.
"Rather than push on in training with headgear we turned him away for four weeks and nursed him along. I told Martin Dwyer to just ride the race for yourself as I just wanted the horse to enjoy himself and boost his confidence."
Battered (7/2) appeared to show the benefits of undergoing a gelding operation when continuing the hot streak of trainer William Haggas when proving three-quarters of a length too strong for newcomer Ekhtiyaar in the British Stallion Studs/Ken Lindsay Memorial EBF Maiden Stakes.
Silvestre de Sousa enjoyed a winner before dashing off for a full book of eight-rides at Chelmsford after making all aboard the Mark Johnston-trained Kiltara (7/2) in the Dan Hague Rails Bookmaker Handicap.
Brave Hero, who looked really promising as a two-year-old, got off the mark for the season with a dominating performance in the Dan Hague For Competitive Prices Handicap under James Doyle.
The 10/1 success gave Saeed bin Suroor an across-the-card double after the victory of Secret Number in the feature race at Ayr.