Williams up to his level best

Trainer Evan Williams enjoyed a rare winner on the level as Corran Ard made it a hat-trick at Pontefract.

Trainer Evan Williams enjoyed a rare winner on the level as Corran Ard made it a hat-trick at Pontefract. Williams has sent out 28 winners during the summer jumping campaign but he showed he can prepare a Flat runner too with victory in the £20,000 Dalby Screw-Driver Handicap.

Formerly trained in Ireland by Jessica Harrington, Corran Ard was sent off the 5-2 favourite after winning at Sandown in April and June.

Stepping up in grade for this 10-furlong event, the Imperial Ballet gelding, in the hands of Ryan Moore, took up the running inside the final furlong before staying on well to hold the late challenge of Along The Nile.

Williams, who is based at Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan, was making his first visit to Pontefract.

He said: "To be honest, I did not know what to expect today. He had won a couple but we are new at this Flat job. He is such a nice horse to have anything to do with. To have overcome the problems he has had and still come back with fire in his belly is a great credit to him and Ryan said he liked the horse."

Moore completed a 12-1 double when Richard Hannon's Odin Dawn (11-4) made it third time lucky in the second division of the EBF Poppin Lane Maiden Stakes.

David Elsworth is another infrequent visitor to the track but his trip paid off when Passified landed the first division of the maiden.

The 7-2 shot was being pushed along by John Egan as Multitude led into the straight with Danehillsundance mounting a strong challenge.

He hit the front in the final furlong but Passified came with a telling burst in the last 75 yards to score by a head.

Elsworth said: "It is a few years since I have been here.

"The last time was when I flew up with Richard Hannon and Geoff Smith, we landed at Doncaster and then took a taxi here only for the meeting to be abandoned because of rain!

"The plan now is to run her in a valuable Sales race (Tattersalls Autumn Stakes) at Newmarket which I won two years ago with Cape Columbine - that is why I wanted to get a run into her now."

Mick Channon sent out his 40th individual two-year-old winner of the season when Fiumicino (5-1) opened her account under a determined ride from Robert Winston in the Racing UK On Channel 432 Fillies' Nursery.

Channon was represented by former jump jockey Derek Byrne, who said: "I have been with Mick for about two and a half months, I ride work, do some travelling and anything that is going.

"That is what Fiumicino is, it was not the best race in the world but she is going to be a better three-year-old."

Trainer Derek Shaw ended a lean spell when Namir just prevailed under Patrick Mathers in an exciting finish to the S B Honda Handicap.

Namir (10-1) burst through to lead inside the final furlong and having appeared to be holding Bahamian Duke, he then had to dig deeper to repel Bahamian Ballet and had only a short head and a head to spare at the line.

Apprentice Andrew Elliott was suspended for two days (October 2 and 3) for careless riding on Bahamian Duke.

Ommraan (10-11 favourite) made a successful racecourse debut in the hands of Philip Robinson in the EBF Frier Wood Maiden Stakes.

After racing prominently, the Vodafone Derby entry had only a neck and a short head to spare over Alpes Maritimes and Tempelstern.


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