Rainbow Jet continued trainer John Mackie’s recent good run when getting off the mark at the 13th attempt in the Tyldeseley Handicap at Haydock.
The Derbyshire handler had thought of handing in his licence when things got hard during the pandemic, but with more horses now in his yard and three winners in the last fortnight, things are looking up.
Relishing the testing conditions, Rainbow Jet (5-1) led two furlongs out under Franny Norton and won cosily by two and three-quarter lengths from Firewater.
Mackie, 66, who has been training for 37 years, said: “She’s always promised to be a nice filly and she loves this ground. I was heartbroken when Wetherby was off. We were on the third race and they called it off after the first.
“She looks stronger this year than last. She was like two boards put together. We gave her a good winter and and I think she will keep on improving this year.
“Things are going well now, but it’s been a hard year and a bit. At one stage it looked like we might be going out of business. We were short in horses. You hold your breath and luckily we got a few fresh ones and a couple of new owners and things have improved.
“We have 21 horses in work now and that’s feasible. It’s all about covering your overheads. It’s grand. We have a young team and they work hard for us.”
Ripe after two runs this spring, Strawberri (11-10 favourite) got her just desserts in the Bryn Gates Fillies’ Stakes.
The Roger Varian-trained three-year-old knuckled down for Jack Mitchell to see off Barshaa by a length.
Mitchell said: “It was very hard work. That last furlong felt like the longest I’ve ever ridden.
“She wasn’t in love with the ground, but her class shone through.”
Kieran Shoemark made the most of a spare ride on Arctic Emperor (100-30) in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap to give owners Hambleton Racing a double.
A first success from four starts for the Archie Watson-trained three-year-old capped an excellent day for the winning syndicate after they took the feature Cecil Frail with Twilight Spinner.
Shoemark said: “He was very gutsy and genuine. I wouldn’t go as far to say he liked the ground, but he handled it.
“Adam McNamara was caught in traffic. I ride a bit for Archie, so it was good to pick up the spare.”
Wild Beauty benefited from her debut run to open her account in good style in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
Charlie Appleby’s daughter of Frankel had finished sixth when 5-2 sent off favourite at Ascot, but made no mistake as a even-money shot this time.
Leading a furlong out, Wild Beauty just had to be pushed out by James Doyle to score by three lengths from Magnolia State.
Radio Caroline (12-1) stepped up on her racecourse bow with a gutsy effort to take the Culcheth Fillies’ Novice Stakes.
The Mick Channon-owned-and-trained juvenile would not be denied as she held Madame Ambassador by a neck in the hands of Tony Hamilton.
“The step up in trip has helped a lot. She was on and off it the whole way round, but I always felt if I could get a clear run at them, she would pick up well,” said the jockey.
“She had a good look when she got to the front. I gave her a tap behind the saddle and she stuck on well.”
Downsman (9-4) came from last to first to claim the Join Racing TV Now Handicap for trainer Jim Boyle and jockey Pat Cosgrave.