Alston and Ballarina dance to music of time
However anomalous the stage, there was nothing wrong with the script. For various reasons, the first Flat meeting on turf in 2011 was yesterday staged at Catterick, of all places – three days before the William Hill Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster. But if few pulses could be raised by an apprentice handicap, won by a mare rated just 54, then hearts could still be touched when Eric Alston, trainer of Ballarina, revealed that it was exactly 50 years ago that he had ridden a horse called Troilus to win the first race of the season, on the forgotten old course at Lincoln.
Those of a less sentimental disposition were rather more stimulated, no doubt, by the fact that the two most impressive winners on the card were saddled by John Quinn, who endured a frustrating spell on the Flat early last season but whose string has palpably resumed in fine fettle this time. And he still has unfinished business over jumps. Recession Proof, who has excelled in his novice season over timber, steps up in trip at Aintree next week, while Quinn sounds much happier with Character Building's preparation for the John Smith's Grand National than last year, when he faded into seventh. Nina Carberry has again been booked to ride.
Paul Hanagan, who laid the foundations of his jockeys' title at the Lincoln meeting last year, had been sent south by Richard Fahey for the first day of his defence – and it was soon apparent why. Miss Work Of Art, a well backed favourite on her debut, ran out a decisive winner of the juvenile maiden at Lingfield. "She was a little bit green early, but once the penny dropped she came home well," Hanagan said.
Ryan Moore, whose own challenge for the title was derailed by a wrist injury last summer, laid down a marker with a double for Richard Hannon.
Havingotascoobydo (3.35 Ludlow) Highly progressive, after just four starts over timber, and regrouped in good style after giving the winner a start at Sandown last time, having travelled well through the race.
Man Of God (3.20 Leicester) Top-class pedigree, with two sisters having finished second in the Oaks and another third, and looks to have been given a manageable rating, with improvement guaranteed at this distance.
One to watch
Tasheyaat (Barry Hills) Was well backed for her debut at Lingfield last weekend and showed why with her strong finish for third.
Latest in Sport
Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United: Saints yet to receive 'serious offer' but midfielder could complete move by end of this week
Memphis Depay latest: Manchester United signing turns 'focus' on the season ahead
Sergio Ramos to Manchester United: Real Madrid defender 'wants' Old Trafford switch
Venezuelan TV host gets completely naked while reporting on Copa America win over Colombia
Manchester United transfer news: Javier Hernandez nears exit as Liverpool eye move for striker despite revealing Real Madrid video
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...
£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading and innovative con...