JOCKEY Jo Mason rode a poignant double at Redcar Races today – dedicating her victories to a beloved uncle who passed away on the morning of the meeting.
The three-pound claimer kicked off her brace by just getting up in the final strides on the Ruth Carr-trained Copper and Five to nose ahead of Sucellus, ridden by Megan Nicholls, in The racingtv.com Handicap (see main picture).
Jo then doubled up on Pound Off You, handled locally by Gillian Boanas, in another close finish to deny Paul Mulrennan a hat-trick on Major Snugfit.
After Copper and Five’s win, Jo – the granddaughter of legendary trainer Mick Easterby – explained that she had found out hours earlier that her uncle, Richard Clark, had passed away.
"He always followed my races and would often have £2.50 each-way. This is for him,” she said.
When Pound Off You (pictured below) triumphed, she added: “I think Uncle Richard’s looking down on me.”
Ken Thwaites, assistant to Gillian Boanas, said: “She got caught on the line at Wetherby and has been a bit disappointing since then, but her mother, Let It Be, won four times here, so it’s brilliant to see her win.”
There was also a double for Paul Mulrennan, starting with Le Beau Garcon (pictured below) – trained at Malton by Mick and David Easterby – in the opening Redcar Racecourse Celebrates National Racehorse Week Restricted Novice Stakes.
It was a fitting victory because in-form Mulrennan had pledged to donate a riding fee each day of National Racehorse Week to the New Beginnings charity, which rehomes former racehorses.
Le Beau Garcon is owned by North Yorkshire-based Bernard Hoggarth, who has spent 25 years racing sports cars, and is now concentrating on a different type of horse-power.
Bernard, formerly chief executive of the Cranswick sausage company, said of his winner: “He’s very one paced – but that pace happens to be flat out, which is no bad thing for a sprinter.”
Mulrennan secured a quick-fire double by driving Adjudicator (pictured below) to a narrow victory over the Tim Easterby-trained Stripzee in the Market Cross Jewellers Nursery Handicap Stakes.
The Dark Angel gelding is trained at Lambourn by Joseph Tuite and stable representative Dave Mooney said: “Paul said he might get further, and he’s just done enough, so there’s probably more to play with. He’s a nice horse going forward.”
Tim Easterby, who celebrated his 60th birthday this week, gained consolation when Wade’s Magic (pictured below) – well ridden by Ella McCain – came out best in a blanket finish in the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap.
Ella, granddaughter of Red Rum’s legendary trainer Ginger McCain, told the successful members of the Reality Partnerships syndicate: “He pulled really hard but just kept going. Happy days!”
Easterby added: “We stepped him up to six furlongs last time and it suits him. Ella gets on really well with him and gave him a great ride.”
Paul Pearson, managing director of Jack’s Coaches, based at nearby Grangetown, is a member of the winning syndicate and fulfilled his ambition to have a winner at Redcar.
Three-pounds claimer Zak Wheatley made it two victories in a row as he landed the Celebrate The Life of Joe Newton Apprentice Handicap on Asmund (pictured below) for Malton trainer Declan Carroll.
The jockey-trainer combination had struck in the last at Thirsk Races the day before with Trinity Lake.
Carroll said: “Asmund has been knocking on the door and has run quite well all season. Zak rode a good race and I’m delighted for the owner who has been a good supporter of the yard.”
The horse is owned by Sarah Bryan, of Sheffield, whose husband, Phil, has Northfield Construction at Nottingham.
Sarah, who has had horses with Carroll for 11 years, said: “It’s been a long time coming but it’s not for the lack of trying. He wears his heart on his sleeve but has always come up against one or two that have been better.”
As If By Chance (pictured below), trained at Malton by Nigel Tinkler, won his first race in 11 attempts by taking The Every Race Live On Racing TV Novice Stakes in the hands of Faye McManoman.
"He's a big horse and he'll be better next year," said the veteran trainer. “He loves a nice galloping track and has a good record at Redcar.”
Owner Sara Hattersley, who lives at Wetherby, said: “He seems to enjoy Redcar a lot. He’s such a big horse, he needed to fill out, so we’ve had to be patient. That said, he’s been ultra-consistent and the penny’s dropped now. He’s something to look forward to next year.”
Spantik (pictured below), a winner over hurdles at Sedgefield in April, won the final race of the day, The Watch Replays On racingtv.com Handicap (Division 2), in the hands of Jason Hart. The Canford Cliffs gelding is trained in North Yorkshire by Roger Fell.