Newcastle firsts for former aces

Peter Niven and Pat Eddery both achieved notable firsts when saddling Rocknest Island and Secret Tune to success in their respective races at Newcastle yesterday.

Peter Niven and Pat Eddery both achieved notable firsts when saddling Rocknest Island and Secret Tune to success in their respective races at Newcastle yesterday.

Former National Hunt ace Niven sent out Rocknest Island to land the extended two-mile Goldensheaf/Henry Jones/Dina Class Fish & Chips Handicap and gain his first success at Gosforth Park as a trainer.

The 13-2 chance had a lot to do turning for home, but she picked up well to see off Toparudi (12-1) by half-a-length.

Madiba was promoted to third after Phillip Makin failed to weigh-in on original bronze medallist Onyergo.

Makin was subsequently hit with a seven-day ban.

Niven's winner could turn out again at Musselburgh on Monday, and he said: "She won well enough at Wolverhampton before and all she does is stay.

"I thought she was very unlucky at Catterick last time where she had her run blocked off. I rode plenty of winners here but this is the first one I've trained."

Secret Tune had no trouble whatsoever in justifying favouritism at 11-10 in the Cape Haddie Fish & Chips Median Auction Maiden.

The easy length-and-a-half humbling of Four Miracles also gave Eddery his first training success at Newcastle and his first at any venue for owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.

Eddery carried those famous silks to victory on numerous occasions in years gone by and was thrilled to see Secret Tune dismiss his rivals in the 10-furlong event.

"We thought we would bring him here as it seemed to be the right sort of race and he won it well - he's a pretty nice horse," he said.

"He'll stay a mile-and-a-half in time and it was great to see him have enough speed to win so well today.

"I'm not sure where he'll go next as I'll have to have a word with (Adbullah's racing manager) Teddy Grimthorpe, but there will be plenty of options for a nice horse like him."

Burnwynd Boy stunned the crowds when defying a price tag of 50-1 in the opening Henry Colbeck Fish & Chips Novice Stakes.

Trained by Ian Semple, the son of Tobougg battled on powerfully to deny Mark Johnston's 5-2 favourite Abolition by half a length.

Winning owner Robert Reid said: "He was 50-1 but he didn't know that and I backed him.

"It's nice to beat a Mark Johnston horse and I think that one might be quite decent."

Blue Sky Thinking ran out a half-length winner of the Wright's Pies Claiming Stakes to land a four-timer in the grade.

Sent off the 13-8 favourite, Karl Burke's charge rallied to repel Penel.

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