Karl Burke enjoyed a Good Friday to remember as Aasser landed the Coral All-Weather Vase Three-Year-Old Handicap in front of a huge holiday crowd at Lingfield.
The Middleham handler was at Newcastle to see El Caballo’s victory in the Coral 3 Year Old All-Weather Championships Conditions Stakes, but struck moments earlier as the Sam James-ridden Aasser got up in a thriller at the Surrey track.
Aasser was beaten a short-head by the William Knight-trained Checkandchallenge – who won the opening Listed Coral Burradon Stakes at Newcastle – when the pair met at Wolverhampton in November.
Having got off the mark at that track last time, Aasser (7-2) made the most of his good draw, as powered home to collar long-time leader Leap Abroad (14-1) in the dying strides and score by a head, with the talented Zameka (11-4 favourite) hanging badly in third.
Burke said: “He should have won that day (at Wolverhampton). Clifford Lee dropped his hands and he should have beat him, although they ran very green.
“Ours is a very good horse and once I realised what mark he was on and how good he was, I said to his owner we’d aim at this race as it was a big pot and it’s worked out.
“I think he’ll win again. He hasn’t won by far, so the handicapper can’t do too much damage and I’d imagine we’ll go for another nice handicap.”
Burke almost made it a treble on the day, but Shallow Hal (14-1) could not reel in If You Dare (13-2) who made all under Franny Norton for Charlie and Mark Johnston in the Betway All-Weather Vase Sprint Handicap.
James’ mount stayed on strongly, but was beaten a neck, with Crimson Sand (9-2) staying on for third.
Amber Island (5-1) continued her progressive form when taking the Coral All-Weather Vase Fillies’ Handicap under rising star Rossa Ryan.
The five-year-old, who had been touched off by Night Narcissus at Wolverhampton last time stayed on strongly to earn the fifth win of her career, powering home to record an eased-down two-and-three-quarter-length victory over Algheed (10-1) and Cry Havoc (14-1), who were separated by a neck.
Winning trainer David Loughnane said: “It was a great performance. I’m delighted.
“She has always proved she was a nice filly on the all-weather and she is clearly still on the up and still progressing.”
Ben Curtis missed the break on Totally Charming, who was sent off the 85-40 favourite for the All-Weather Vase Mile Handicap, but having rousted him into contention, the George Boughey-trained four-year-old stayed on well to score by three-quarters of a length from On A Session (10-1), with Dingle (5-1) a neck further back in third.
William Buick has stated he is going all out to win the Flat jockeys’ title and after a fruitful time at Newmarket earlier in the week, he was on the mark again when Honor And Pleasure scored by a cosy three lengths in the Betway Vase Marathon Handicap.
The 13-8 favourite went to the front two furlongs out and stayed on well to beat Protected Guest (7-1), with Fair Star (7-2) third.
Dembe was given a superb ride by Robert Tart to claim the concluding Betway All-Weather Vase Middle Distance Handicap.
The 10-1 chance had plenty to do turning in, yet the Brett Johnson-trained four-year-old, who had completed a hat-trick over a mile at the same track last time, appreciated the additional two furlongs and got up in a driving finish to complete a four-timer by a neck from Summit Star.