James Doyle was thrilled with the efforts of Roman Mist, who showed plenty of resolve to shed her maiden tag in the Follow @racingtv On Twitter Fillies' Handicap.
The three year old had produced some good efforts without quite being able to get her nose in front last term and after a pleasing reappearance run at Windsor earlier this month she battled gamely to the line to hold off a queue of challengers and pick up a first win at the eighth attempt.
Winning jockey Doyle was pleased with what he saw from Tom Ward’s filly and said: “She had to be tough at the finish and it’s surprising that she hasn’t won until today as her form’s been pretty solid and she’s very consistent.
“We felt all of the conditions were ideal and the race went just as we’d hoped really and she hit the line really well. It was a desperate late on and they all queued up to have a crack at her but she was very willing.”
It proved to be a productive afternoon for Doyle, who had a double on the card, also riding Fabiosa to victory in the Watch On Racing TV Fillies' Novice Stakes for the David Evans team.
The daughter of Havana Gold knew her job well after a pleasing debut at Windsor earlier this month and she showed plenty of professionalism to hold off the attentions of the even money favourite Amber Dew – something which pleased Doyle.
He said: “It was a nice performance and I’m very pleased with her. She ran a good race on debut and looked to improve a lot for that experience here.
“Speaking to Dave (Evans) beforehand, he was pretty positive and thought she’d go very close, so that was nice. You’d hope there’s a nice race in her at some point. The second horse (Amber Dew) has come out of a very nice race at Newmarket that’s thrown up a couple of winners, so we’re very pleased.”
Between those victories was a likeable effort from Sir Rumi, who built on a pleasing debut at the bet365 Craven Meeting earlier this month to take the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Novice Stakes.
The three year old showed a good turn of foot to hit the front in the closing furlong, before gamely holding off the challenge of the fast closing King Of Clubs, and Rossa Ryan was pleased with the performance.
Ryan is the retained rider for owners Amo Racing Limited and said of his winner: “He has a nice attitude. I thought pulling up that I may have kicked him too soon, but he’s a horse that will probably see a mile and a half in the future.
“Ryan (Moore) kicked on Sun Festival from two out and I was just rolling with him and we got a bit lonely (as Sun Festival weakened) but he’s been really game. We have 85 horses in training and of them I think 50 are two year olds, so we’ve a lot of nice exciting horses and I’m really looking forward to getting the season properly underway.”
Later on the card there was also success for Ben Curtis, who will be hoping to make his presence felt in this year’s Flat Jockey’s Championship.
He was victorious on the Mark Johnston-trained Hochfeld, who showed a good attitude to hold off the attentions of the even money favourite Lostwithiel to win the Visit racingtv.com Handicap.
Curtis was impressed with the gelding’s attitude and said: “He’s very straightforward and travels along lovely. I picked it up early enough in the straight because I knew he’d be a stout stayer and he stuck his head down well and ran well through the line.
“Lostwithiel went past me late on but my lad stays very well and I was confident enough going into the last furlong that we’d make him work for it and to be fair the horse has pulled away at the end, so it was a very good performance.”
When asked about the jockey’s title, Curtis added: “Everyone will be going for it and I’ve said to my agent we’ll be giving it a kick. We’ll be there as long as we can and if you can get to Goodwood you know where you are but I’ll do the same as I do every year and ride as many winners as possible.”
Last but not least, the Kevin Ryan-trained Fighter Pilot rounded off the card with a nice performance to take the finale, the Bet At racingtv.com Handicap over the minimum trip.
It was a second victory in as many starts for the three year old, who registered a victory over six furlongs at Southwell in December.
Winning jockey Danny Tudhope now feels that everything is clicking into place for the son of Kodiac after a gelding operation. He said: “It was a nice performance and it was pleasing because he showed us a fair bit as a two year old.
“We thought he’d be a bit better this year and he’s been gelded now and grown up a bit, so hopefully there’s more to come from him yet. It was quick enough for him and he wants to get his toe in, but it was a good start for him.”