Relieved James Given toasts Catterick scorer Cool Spirit

Wed 30 Aug 2017

Cool Spirit claimed a timely success for trainer James Given when making it third-time lucky with an all-the-way victory at Catterick.

The youngster shaped with abundant promise when third behind Cardsharp on his racecourse debut in Beverley's Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy in early June.

Favourite-backers had their fingers burnt when he was turned over at Haydock three weeks ago, but he was a prohibitively priced 1-2 shot to reward those who kept the faith in the Bet toteplacepot At betfred.com Novice Median Auction Stakes.

Odds-on backers were made to sweat a little, with 40-1 chance Paco Escostar doing his best work at the finish, but Cool Spirit held him at bay by half a length in the hands of Joe Doyle.

"It's always a bit nerve-racking when you're odds-on in an ordinary race," said Given.

"I think he's won in spite of the track. They'd had a bit of rain, which wouldn't have suited him, and he was hanging on the track as well.

"It looked like he was getting a bit lonely in front. The second horse came at him with a bit of momentum, but then he's gone on again and done it well.

"He's a winner now so that's ticked that box and the good news is we just bought his half-brother at the sales on Tuesday. It's less than 24 hours later and we've already enhanced his pedigree.

"I think we'll probably look for a nursery and stick to fast ground."

Relief was David Allan's overriding emotion after he steered Sakhee's Return (8-1) to a last-gasp victory in the Bet toteexacta At betfred.com Handicap.

Tim Easterby's charge won at Haydock and York in the summer of 2015, but had endured a 14-race losing run prior to his latest assignment.

He looked all dressed up with nowhere to go with two furlongs to run, but found his stride once angled wide of the field and got up to beat Lagenda by a neck.

Allan told Racing UK: "I got stopped and had to go around them. I think if I'd have got beat I'd have been very unlucky.

"My plan was to sit handy, but I couldn't go any faster. I just had to deal with it.

"He had a bit of a lull and it's a few years since he won, but he's a lovely, big horse and hopefully that will do his confidence good and he'll win again."

Danny Tudhope was taken to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough for precautionary X-rays after he suffered a fall.

Tudhope was unseated from Wild Approach during the concluding five-furlong handicap and required further treatment.

Wild Approach, trained by Robert Cowell, was fatally injured.

Catterick clerk of the course Fiona Needham said: "His neck was sore, so he's gone to James Cook - hopefully just as a precaution."

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