Fast-rising star Shelley Birkett celebrated the biggest win of her career at Newmarket’s July Course on Saturday.
The 19-year-old daughter of Exning trainer Julia Feilden was left with a beaming smile across her face when taking the Listed Newsells Park Stud Stakes, registered as the Aphrodite Stakes, aboard Noble Protector.
Showing she is not out of place with the leading lights in the saddle, the teenage jockey delivered the Stuart Kittow-trained four-year-old with a well-crafted run to take the one-mile-four-furlong race by five lengths.
“This track really suits her as she is a proper galloper,” said Birkett. “I was second on her earlier in the year in a Listed race and the ground caught her out that day.
“I get on very well with her and that is now two wins in three races on her.
“My aim this year is to get my claim down to three-pounds, but I never expected to get a winner like this.
“It is a dream riding a winner here.”
Ed Dunlop received a much-needed winner in what has been a largely forgettable year after Arethusa went one better than on her debut in the seven-furlong maiden.
Not only did the win provide the Newmarket handler his first two-year-old winner of the season, but it also formed the first leg of a 104/1 treble Kieren Fallon.
“I am delighted as this is a partnership that has been with me from the start of my training career and we didn’t buy Arethusa expensively,” said Dunlop. “She run well first time out at Kempton, but I was a little bit nervous as to what that form accrued to.
“We will wait and see what we do with her now as she has had quite a hard race.”
Six-times champion jockey Fallon found himself back in the winners’ enclosure following the conclusions of the Class Three seven-furlong handicap after steering Liberty Jack to victory.
However, it was Fallon’s last winner — Winter Thunder — that caught the eye when following up his course and distance maiden win last month when slamming his rivals by 12 lengths in the concluding Class Two 1m2f handicap.
Long-standing Newmarket trainer Sir Mark Prescott kept his strike rate at the track at more than 20 per cent after Athenian dug deep to make her seasonal debut a winning one in the Class Three six-furlong fillies handicap.
“She always runs well first time out although she has barely done enough,” said Prescott. “She was first under pressure but kept on very well.
“She is in the Stewards Cup, but we will probably go for a Listed race on the continent to get some black type.”
Marmoom finally got off the mark at the fifth attempt in the Class Five seven-furlong three-year old maiden, while Balty Boys made it two wins for the season by taking the opening Class Two mile handicap.
There are not too many riders in the weighing room who can claim to have ridden a winner on the Flat and a Midlands National winner.
One jockey who can do just that is Mikey Ennis, who won the 2013 Midlands National aboard Big Occasion, when partnering Light From Mars at Newmarket’s July Course on Friday.
It proved to be a memorable 24 hours for Ennis with him steering the John Ferguson trained Purple Bay in the Betfred Mobile Summer Hurdle.
“We are quiet at David Pipe’s at the moment so I just decided to contact a few Flat trainers to ride out and help me improve my riding and Ron Harris was good enough to let me do that,” said Ennis. “I can’t thank Ron enough as to ride a winner at a place like Newmarket where I never thought I’d have a chance to ride is amazing.”
Town trainer Charlie Appleby is often a man to follow at the track with his runners in maiden races and so it proved once again with the Moulton Paddocks handler grabbing a double on the night through racecourse debutants Efflorescence and Rapprochement.
“Efflorescence has jumped out the gates running and shown natural ability,” said Appleby. “She did get a little bit tired towards the end, but she had been in front for a long way and she will come on for that.
“Rapprochement is a horse we held in high regard as a two-year-old, but he has had setbacks. His last piece of work last week was very impressive with a nice horse and he is slowly accepting to be trained the right way.”