Reigning champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa was in fine form with a double at Redcar’s belated opening meeting of the season.
After heavy rain forced the cancellation of the seaside track’s first two meetings, punters were greeted with bright sunshine for the start of the 2018 season, Racing UK Club Day.
And De Sousa cruised home in the opener, The Racing UK Club day Here Today Selling Stakes, on board Mick Channon’s odds-on shot Tarrzan. The colt looked a class above and was bought for £12,500 by Oxfordshire trainer John Gallagher after a lively auction
Brazilian rider De Sousa secured his double on Gay Kellaway’s Newmarket raider Robsdelight, who showed a good attitude to outgun James Fanshawe’s Destinata.
Danny Tudhope was prolific at Redcar last season and he was also among the winners with a double. Pretty Baby got Tudhope off the mark with an impressive performance and the William Haggas-trained filly looks progressive. The double was completed on another Haggas runner, Completion, who outbattled Mark Johnston’s Poet’s Prince in what looked a decent race. It would be no surprise to seem the form work out well.
With the first four races won by southern raiders, Hambleton-based Kevin Ryan struck back for the north when Al Khan took the fifth race claimer under a strong ride by five-pound claimer Ben Robinson. Mick Easterby’s Space War came with a rattle but Al Khan held on gamely.
The Newmarket raiders were back in the winner’s enclosure in the penultimate race when Nibras Galaxy, trained by Ismail Mohammed and ridden by George Wood, held off Josephine Gordon on Global Style.
Thundercloud was last of 12 in a Southwell nursery last time out and hadn’t been on the racecourse for 125 days but gamely took the final race of the day, with Richard Kingscote in the saddle.
Scott Dixon’s grey filly was too strong for Berkshire raider Don’t Cry About It, denying Silvestre De Sousa a treble.
Redcar’s next meeting is Monday, May 21.
Silvestre De Sousa in the winner's enclosure on Tarrzan
Thundercloud with proud handler Shani Nicholson