Jim Goldie has his eye on a £100,000 bonus after Tommy G just lasted home in a thrilling finish to the Sky Bet Sunday Series Apprentice Training Series Handicap at Musselburgh.
Tommy G staked his claim when hanging on by a head from Six Strings. Claimer Gianluca Sanna set sail for home some way out on the eight-year-old who soon set up a handy lead.
Six Strings came out of the pack and put down a strong challenge, but Tommy G (13-2) held firm to cross the line a head to the good to win for the first time over a trip as far as nine furlongs.
“He’s versatile to say the least. It looked as though he might be caught and then he stuck his head out again. He was always doing enough,” said Goldie.
“It’s brilliant. The Johnnie Delta Racing Club has been going for a while. It’s a big winner for them. It’s all good.”
The bonus will go to the owners of any horse that wins a race at each of the three venues in the £600,000 Sky Bet Sunday Series. Round two is at Haydock on August 8, with the final leg at Sandown two weeks later. The prize will be split if there is more than one winner.
Tommy G looks like bypassing the Unibet Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood in favour of waiting for Haydock in two weeks’ time.
“I think we’ll miss Goodwood and think about the 100 grand bonus for winning three races across the Series,” said the Glasgow-based handler.
“There will be a race somewhere for him at Haydock next hopefully. If he can do that again, you never know – not many horses get the chance to win a bonus like that. He has to be one of the contenders.”
Marco Botti was another to praise the initiative after Rising Star (5-6 favourite) landed the Sky Bet Sunday Series Fillies’ Handicap in fine style for Ben Curtis.
The daughter of Fast Company was a dual winner as a juvenile last term and after two placed efforts this season, she came good with a length-and-a-half verdict over Gometra Ginty in this mile heat.
Botti said: “She did it well. Obviously we have targeted this race since she finished second at Newmarket earlier in the month as it looked a good opportunity for her with some nice prize money.
“The good ground is the key for her I think. She ran in a Group Two in Italy last year but the ground was heavy and she really didn’t handle it at all.”
Botti would like to try for a slice of the £100,000 bonus for multiple winners, but fears Rising Star will now be rated too highly to line up at Haydock.
He said: “The bonus is there and there is a race for her at Haydock, but I think she might get put up 3lb or 4lb, which would just push her out of a class four race as she won there off 85.
“There is a race at York’s Ebor meeting for fillies over seven furlongs and we might have a look at that.”
Of the Series, Botti added: “I think it’s a great initiative and there is some good money on offer. It was a good opportunity, we don’t tend to have many runners in the north but it was worth making the trip.
“It’s great for the owners. A couple of them didn’t know about it but when I said it was a class four race worth nearly £16,000 to the winner, they said ‘wow, we have to take our chance’.”
Curtis completed a double on Glasses Up (15-2) in the concluding Sky Bet Sunday Series Stayers Handicap.
Mytilda sprang a 25-1 surprise to open her account at the sixth attempt in the Sky Bet Sunday Series Nursery Handicap.
Trainer Phillip Makin had thought enough of the filly to run her in the Weatherbys Super Sprint eight days ago but she lost all chance at the start.
It was a different story this time as she travelled strongly throughout the five-furlong dash for Rowan Scott and swept clear to score by two lengths from Hi Meh Darling.
Modular Magic (6-1 favourite) overcame a low draw in style to make most of the running in the Sky Bet Sunday Series Sprint Handicap for jockey Connor Beasley and trainer David Barron.
Edward Cornelius (13-2) looked a promising youngster when comfortably coming out on top in the Sky Bet Sunday Series EBF Newcomers’ Maiden Stakes, while Lion Tower (4-1 favourite) obliged his supporters in the Sky Bet Sunday Series Handicap.