Raymond Tusk picked up his first success since joining the Alan King stable when he returned to form with a vengeance in the SBK Conditions Stakes at Doncaster.
The dual-purpose entertainer was racing his ninth race for Barbury Castle stable, 12 months after finishing second in the same race 12 months ago.
The septuagenarian, who was sixth in the St Leger at this course behind Kew Gardens in 2018 when trained by Richard Hannon, enjoyed the good canter. Under patient leadership from Martin Harley, Raymond Tusk (8-1) swept four lengths from Sir Rumi in the final furlong.
“He’s a fabulous horse. He looked spectacular today. He likes a nice solid run and we got him today. He loved the field,” Harley said.
“He will make his confidence the world of good. It’s been a while since he put his head forward. I hope he moves on to bigger and better things.
Sean Levey’s return from Meydan paid off as Qipco 2000 Guineas’ entry Dawn Of Liberation (4-6 favorites) took off in division two of the SBK Novice Stakes.
Levey, who finished second on Happy Romance in the Group One Al Quoz Sprint, has another horse to look forward to this season in Churchill’s colt.
Placed in his three races last season, the three-year-old trained by Richard Hannon showed determination and skill as he brushed aside Mount Athos to win by three lengths.
Levey said: “Going into it, we knew going back to seven wouldn’t be the most practical thing in the world, but the opportunity presented itself and he was ready to go.
“He made me very optimistic for the future. I think he’s going to be a very good horse over a mile and a quarter.
Owner Susan Roy scored a brace as Charlie Fellowes’ Grand Alliance (100-30) took the final SBK – Daily Tips & Insight Handicap betting area from Danny Tudhope.
Seven Brothers (17-2) won the first time for the third year in a row by leading most of the way in the SBK Price + Gives You The Best Odds Handicap.
Although he didn’t get the best of starts, Kevin Ryan’s four-year-old quickly took over Kevin Stott’s business and took on challenge after challenge to beat Wizard D’Amour by a half. -length.
Stott said: “He’s a very tough horse and he loves a fight. It is normally a little lively but it moved ahead today. He has the seven furlongs well and every time a horse came to him, he came back.
Owner Steve Ryan had a reason to celebrate. He said, “Today is my birthday and it’s a happy birthday. I thought he would win today. He’s done it three years in a row now.
“I bought this at Malton Gallops one morning during lockdown last year – my first purchase.”
Alex Garven had his first career win over Ghadbbaan (9-1) in the SBK Amateur Jockeys Handicap.
The Aberdeenshire-born 25-year-old, attached to the stable of Rebecca Menzies, brought the Mark Walford-trained six-year-old on with a blistering run to score two lengths behind Champagne Terri.
“I’ve been hitting the crossbar a lot lately, between this and scoring, with seconds and thirds. I’ve been waiting a long time, so a big thank you to everyone who helped me out,” Garven said.
Matchless (14-1), former lead horse in Aidan O’Brien’s stable, won for the first time since joining Ivan Furtado’s Newark stables when taking the SBK Handicap.
Bought for 20,000 guineas by owner John Marriott at the September sales, Galileo’s son showed great resolve to beat Love Is Golden by two lengths.
Furtado said: “He is a horse that we love. He was from Ballyodyle and had been used as a pacemaker more than anything. He took a little time to regain the lead, but I think he’s a good horse that will give us a lot of pleasure on the grass.
Bernardo O’Reilly (12-1) ended a losing streak dating back to September 2020 with a strong sprint performance to win the SBK Betting Podcast Handicap.
Fittingly, his two-and-a-quarter verdict on Woven at the hands of Hayley Turner came over the same course and distance as this.
Coach Richard Spencer said: “He likes it here. He didn’t win last year but he is handicapped so I thought he would have a chance and it’s good to start with a winner on the grass. “
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, straight from your inbox