We Never Stop broke his maiden in the British Stallion Studs EBF Spindrifter Novice Stakes at Pontefract to highlight a double for Shane Gray.
Placed at York twice previously, the Cotai Glory colt had finished almost three lengths behind John Quinn’s reopposing Twilight Romance most recently but did have a 4lb pull.
Perhaps more in his favour, though, was his draw in stall four of the five runners, which on most days at Pontefract would be a disadvantage but at this meeting the usually favoured inside rail was almost shunned throughout.
Gray was able to get Kevin Ryan’s youngster over to the stands’ rail first and he held off his old foe by half a length to win at 10-1.
Gray said: “We’ve always thought a lot of him but he grew a lot between his last run and this one.
“He’s a fine stamp of a horse and I think he’ll make a fine three-year-old. He’s so big, whatever he does at two he’s only going to improve on it next year.
“He showed some pace at York and travelled very strong. I’d almost say you could come back to five furlongs but he’s only going to get quicker with age, so six is fine for now.
“They came over in the first race, I’d walked the track and you can see by the colour of the grass there’s a difference in the ground, it’s a good advantage today.”
Gray was also on Mick and David Easterby’s So Grateful (15-2) who was winning for the first time on turf in the Napoleons Casino Bradford Handicap and another to take the favoured rail early.
That came after Serena Brotherton had charted an almost solo run up the stands’ side on the Easterbys’ Unplugged (13-8 favourite) in the 21st Wilfred Underwood Memorial Handicap.
It appeared a bold move by the veteran amateur rider, but it proved inspired, especially as only one other followed her, and she revealed a pre-race course walk made the decision much easier.
“I walked the track and I thought the fastest bit of ground was either right on the inside rail, which I didn’t think I could get to because of my draw (10), or the outside rail,” said Brotherton.
“I did have a moment of doubt when we turned in and I could feel him thinking ‘what are you making me do?’ but he was fine.
“He wants top of the ground so it worked out.”
David Easterby, speaking after the win of So Grateful, said of the ploy: “It’s OK having these plans but you’ve got to be able to carry them out and he (Gray) didn’t go too fast. It’s easy to get the fractions wrong but he didn’t do that.
“Unfortunately for me, Serena likes to get to the track nice and early so I walked the track with her. I think the only reason we won today was because of the tactics, so the handicapper should drop him!
“They are running well this summer, so long may it continue.”
The Royal Ascot-winning duo of Tom Clover and Danny Tudhope teamed up to win the Wayne Conway Memorial Handicap with Rogue Tornado, a first success at the track for Clover.
Sent off the 4-5 favourite, he briefly looked in a bit of bother before his stamina kicked in and he went on to win by two and a half lengths.
Simon and Ed Crisford’s Laser Guided (4-1) clearly thrives in the Yorkshire air as having dead-heated at Ripon earlier this season, he won the “89 And Reunited” Memorial Handicap off bottom weight under Oisin Orr.
Orr then doubled up himself on Gannon Glory (13-2) in the Northern Commercials Service, Sales And Parts Handicap, making all for his boss, Richard Fahey.