Duffield's account is opened with style

Ann Duffield got off the mark for the season in style at Catterick, teaming up with jockey Royston Ffrench to notch a 30-1 double.

Ann Duffield got off the mark for the season in style at Catterick, teaming up with jockey Royston Ffrench to notch a 30-1 double.

Lady Rangali, one of 30 juveniles in the Duffield team, set the ball rolling dramatically as she just got the better of Lady Benjamin by a short head in the catterickbridge.co.uk Maiden Auction Stakes. Duffield said of the 5-2 winner: "She deserved that. She was unlucky not to win first time out at Beverly when she was beaten a length and a half.

"She ran green that day and was a bit green again today, so hopefully she will go on from this and she is the first horse owned by Joe Woodhead from Malton."

Based eight miles from the course near Leyburn, Duffield added: "Our horses have been a bit slow to come but they have been coming to themselves in the last three weeks and they have all been running well."

Falcon's Fire, runner-up on his seasonal debut at Thirsk last month, showed the benefit of that outing to complete Duffield's brace in the Reeth Median Auction Maiden Stakes.

The 8-1 shot led inside the final furlong and pulled away to beat the odds-on favourite Welsh Auction by two lengths. Duffield said: "He was a big, weak, backward horse and we had him gelded last July. He was too laid back for his own good and not really taking everything in, but Saleem Golan made a man of him when he rode him last time at Thirsk. He made him realise what he was there for rather than just having a day out."

Eoghan O'Neill is hoping that Rainbow Bay's victory in the Don't Miss totesport Saturday 26 May Apprentice Claiming Stakes proves a good omen for the yard ahead of a big weekend at Newmarket. O'Neill sends Vital Equine for Saturday's Stan James 2000 Guineas and the Michael Geran-ridden Rainbow Bay gave the team a lift with three-length success over Cape Sydney.

"Rainbow Bay came to me from Richard Fahey and this is his third run for us. We put him in a claimer because, like all our horses, we wanted to win a race with him," O'Neill said of the 5-6 winner. "He did it well and hopefully he will go on from this."

But Rainbow Bay was claimed by trainer David Evans for £7,000 while Cape Sydney was claimed for £8,000 by Mick Quinlan. Mick Channon missed Proper's victory in the Catterick Ladies' Night Tuesday 8th May Handicap as he was at the memorial service of his close friend and former football teammate Alan Ball.

Proper tracked the leader Ruthles Philly correct turning into the straight before taking the lead about a furlong out in the hands of Chris Catlin.

The three-year-old was driven out to score by a length from Nota Liberata.

Proper, the 15-8 favourite, was defying a 6lb penalty for a success at Brighton four days earlier. Channon's representative Lesley White said: "Mick has gone to Alan Ball's memorial service at Winchester Cathedral. Proper has done it well again.

"He was giving weight all round and didn't seem to mind the good to firm ground."

Catherine Gannon was suspended for 10 days (May 14-23 inclusive) for dropping her hands shortly before the winning post and losing second place on Ruthles Philly.

King Marju (5-6 favourite) came out best under Neil Callan in the Go Racing At Thirsk This Saturday Selling Stakes.

Trainer Karl Burke had to go to 13,000 guineas on behalf of the gelding's owners to retain him at the ensuing auction.

Burke said: "He has been disappointing, that's why he has been dropped in grade. He has loads of ability but has had loads of problems too.

"He has done it very easily though and now he has got his head in front, it might kick-start something for him."

Hypnosis, who is trained only two miles away from the course by David Barker, was another success for the locals.

The 11-10 favourite showed the way home by a length under Pat Cosgrave in the Call 01748 810165 For Race Day Hospitality Fillies' Handicap.

Barker said: "She is quite a useful filly. She is very consistent and although she is entered up again quite soon, I think we will take it quietly with her."

* ST LEGER winner Sixties Icon is only "50-50" to run in the StanJamesUK.com Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on Sunday. Jeremy Noseda's colt has not raced since a below-par showing in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and his owner Paul Roy has grave concerns about the quick conditions.

"He should run but it is all about the ground, as fast ground is not ideal and he would like some give," he said.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer