Culhane wins at the double

Tony Culhane took the riding honours at Pontefract yesterday with a 44-1 double highlighted by Sweet Lilly's success in the £40,000 Listed Silver Tankard Stakes.

Tony Culhane took the riding honours at Pontefract yesterday with a 44-1 double highlighted by Sweet Lilly's success in the £40,000 Listed Silver Tankard Stakes.

Culhane gave Mick Channon's filly a confident ride and, when he asked her to quicken, she did so in good style to take up the running a furlong out.

The 4-1 shot stretched away from Champlain to run out a one-and-three-quarter-length winner with Empire Day a further three lengths away in third.

Sweet Lilly, making it four wins from her last five starts, carries the colours of Jaber Abdullah who was represented by his racing manager, Bruce Raymond.

He said: "She has improved a lot since she won at York and on that form she came here with a good chance.

"She loves the ground soft and she has a lot of speed so I should think this mile is her trip - she might be a bit keen over longer distances."

Culhane helped George Margarson to a career landmark when he gave Doubly Guest a fine ride to provide the Newmarket trainer with his 100th success in the toteplacepot Nursery.

Fongs Gazelle led into the straight but Tony Culhane was quick to pounce on Doubly Guest who gamely responded to her rider's encouragement to strike the front a furlong and a half from home.

The 8-1 shot stayed on well to score by one and three-quarter lengths with Revisionist a further length and a quarter back in third.

Margarson took out a licence in 1997 and he said: "It is nice to get a century. Our best season to date was last year with 20 winners and we are only one behind that now, so things have been going well.

"Doubly Guest was bred by her owner John Guest and she is the first progeny of Barathea Guest to win in Britain, but he has had 27 winners in Italy. Young Mick and him are the best horses I have trained."

Apprentice Suzzanne France delivered the Neville Bycroft-trained Dium Mac (15-2) with a perfectly-timed run to score for a second time in seven days in the toteexacta Handicap.

Dium Mac was shouldering a 6lb penalty after winning at Newcastle six days ago and he came with a sustained run to collar Height of Fury and Stolen Glance well inside the final furlong to score by three-quarters of a length.

Bycroft said: "The horse is in really good order now, he had been weak for a long time but he is strengthening up now.

"That is it for the season. We took a chance coming here so soon after Newcastle and although he had come out of the race particularly well, we were still a bit nervous."

Kay Two (11-2 joint-favourite) was another to make a quick and successful return to the fray when he landed the totequadpot Handicap in the hands of Philip Robinson.

A winner at York 10 days ago, the Richard Price-trained gelding had gone up 3lb in the ratings for that victory but his handler had predicted he had further improvement in him.

He came with a steady run to collar Rainbow Rising with half a furlong to run and he edged away to score by a length.

Price said: "The owners have had a good punt, I thought this track would suit him.

"He had been running well on fast ground but soft ground is the key to him and I will run him again if we can find a race for him on the right ground, but I am not used to looking up sprint races."

Darryll Holland was suspended for three days (October 27-29) for careless riding on fourth-placed Charlie Delta.

Sir Mark Prescott's Esprit De Corps (2-1 favourite) has found his form since switching from the all weather and he put up a fine staying performance to land the two-and-a-quarter-mile totesport 0800 221 221 Bluff Cove Handicap under Seb Sanders.

Mister Arjay finished only fifth in the race but he still emerged as the winner of the Yorkshire course's 2006 Stayers' Championship.

Trainer Brian Ellison and owner Keith Middleton each received £1,000 while a similar amount will be shared between stable staff.

Sanders doubled up half an hour later when the Alan Jarvis-trained Our Blessing (100-30 favourite) opened his account at the fifth attempt in the first division of the tote Text Betting 60021 Maiden Auction Stakes.

Flores Sea gained a convincing success in the second division of the six-furlong maiden.

Trainer David Barron said: "He has been a big backward youth and it is nice to have got two runs into him - hopefully there is more to come."


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