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Maydanny delivers in Doonside Cup

Maydanny ran out a clear-cut winner of the Virgin Bet Doonside Cup at Ayr.

Impressive when landing the Golden Mile at Goodwood earlier in the summer, Mark Johnston’s charge had since disappointed in handicap company at York and in the Group Three Superior Mile at Haydock.

Stepping up to a mile and a quarter for the first time this season, the 9-2 chance tracked the pacesetting The Flying Ginger for much of the way before pulling clear in the hands of Joe Fanning.

Admirable veteran Euchen Glen made late headway from further back in the field, but Maydanny never looked in any real danger of being pegged back and passed the post with a length and a half in hand.

The winning handler told ITV Racing: “You never expect things, but we were very hopeful – we wouldn’t be running him here if we didn’t think he had a great chance.

“He was obviously a little bit disappointing last time, but we knew if he could run up to his best, all the conditions seemed to be right for him.

“More of the same (would probably be the plan). We’ll just take one race at at time, there’s no specific target in mind.”

Johnston and Fanning were completing a quick-fire double on the card following the success of Highland Premiere (13-2) in the opening Microtech Group EBF Nursery.

The Middleham maestro went on to make it a treble with the Richard Kingscote-ridden Annandale (9-4) in the concluding Jordan Electrics Ltd Handicap.

Staxton (right) winning the Silver Cup at Ayr
Staxton (right) winning the Silver Cup at Ayr (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Staxton clung on grimly to claim top honours in the Virgin Bet Ayr Silver Cup.

Tim Easterby’s sprinter had not managed to get his head in front since making a successful start to the campaign at Ripon in April, but had dropped to the same mark as a result.

Drawn low in stall two, the 25-1 shot was produced to challenge against the far rail by Duran Fentiman and stuck to his task admirably to get the better of a thrilling battle with Soldier’s Minute by a head.

The hat-trick seeking 9-2 favourite Blackrod was almost two lengths further behind in third.

Revich (second left) was a narrow winner
Revich (second left) was a narrow winner (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Trainer Richard Spencer and 3lb claimer Angus Villiers combined to land the Virgin Bet Handicap with 20-1 shot Revich.

Carrying the colours of Middleham Park Racing, the five-year-old stuck to his guns to see off Hong Kong Harry by half a length, with another Middleham Park runner in Marie’s Diamond close up in third.

Middleham Park’s Tim Palin said: “I think the key to Revich is a turning track and he was just getting down to a workable mark.

“He was as game as a pebble in the final furlong when he could easily have cried enough.

“Getting denied the one-two was unfortunate, but we’re very grateful for the win and Marie’s Diamond ran great as well.”

John Quinn’s Titan Rock (8-1) strode clear in the Download The Gribbens Taxi App Now Handicap.

Maydanny confirms liking for Goodwood

Maydanny notched his second win at the Qatar Goodwood Festival with a facile success in the Unibet Golden Mile.

Mark Johnston’s charge won the 10-furlong handicap on the opening day of the meeting last season. He was due to defend his crown on Tuesday, but was withdrawn on account of the testing conditions.

With the ground having dried out since, the five-year-old was an 8-1 shot to open his account for the year in this £150,000 handicap and ultimately won with something to spare.

Always travelling well in the hands of Jim Crowley, Maydanny quickened through a gap on the far rail before kicking a length and three-quarters clear of David O’Meara’s Rhoscolyn, who finished strongly to beat stablemate Escobar to the runner-up spot.

Johnston said: “It’s great, it’s particularly special with that family, anything out of Attraction.

“He’s another horse we were very hesitant about this week with the soft ground, we weren’t sure if he could handle it but he’s done it really well, he obviously likes this track.

“Attraction herself was obviously very, very unique due to her action and she was particularly a fast ground horse, but that may have been more physical than in the genes.

“The common theme among the family is that they’re very strong and powerful and muscular horses, clearly some of her attitude comes through as she’s certainly one of the toughest I ever trained.

“We make no secret of the fact that it’s a special meeting for us, I’ve always said that Goodwood and Royal Ascot, we’ll pass easier races to have a go at a race here, which we wouldn’t do otherwise.

“He’s obviously gone back and forward between top handicaps and Group races, each time he wins a big handicap like this it means he’s less likely to run in one again.

“We’ve got no specific race marked out for him, but I’m sure he’ll be back in Pattern races.”

Calling The Wind won the opening race at Goodwood on Friday
Calling The Wind won the opening race at Goodwood on Friday (Francesca Altoft/PA)

Calling The Wind provided Richard Hughes with his first Glorious Goodwood victory as a trainer when triumphant in the Unibet 3 Boosts A Day Goodwood Handicap.

Hughes was prolific at the track as a jockey, taking the Sussex Stakes twice aboard Canford Cliffs and Toronado and also claiming the Nassau Stakes in 2012 with The Fugue.

A victory at Goodwood’s headline event as a trainer has been six years in the making and it was 8-1 chance Calling The Wind who obliged in Friday’s opening race under Pat Dobbs.

“It was brilliant,” Hughes said of the one-and-three-quarter-length success.

“I actually watched it on the owner’s phone, we were stood out the front and there was no big screen. I was tempted to run in but I said ‘what will be will be’, luckily he went well all the way round.”

Calling The Wind was second in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Ascot on his last run, a performance that was his first foray into the staying ranks.

“I was confident after Ascot,” Hughes added.

“I thought if he could reproduce that, in the same conditions over two and a half miles, he’ll take all the beating.”

Asked where this victory ranked alongside his other Goodwood successes, Hughes said: “It’s probably right behind Canford Cliffs.

“Riding is easy, there’s more disappointments than winners here for sure.

“It’s so unique and the best horse doesn’t always win, tactically some jockeys can make better decisions than others, I just think it’s so exciting and it’s a beautiful setting.”

Ever Given was another winner for Danny Tudhope
Ever Given was another winner for Danny Tudhope (John Walton/PA)

Danny Tudhope made it three wins at the meeting when steering Ever Given home in the Unibet Deposit £10 Get £40 Bonus Nursery.

On the 4-1 favourite he had too many guns for top-weight Jadhlaan and Robjon.

With trainer Tom Dascombe an absentee, Tudhope said: “He’s a progressive two-year-old, who put the race to bed nicely. He’s better on this slower ground.

“It’s been a good week. One winner is always good, but to have three is a bonus.”

There was a royal winner to close the card as the Queen’s Wink Of An Eye (11-4 favourite) triumphed in the TDN Australia Handicap.

Trained by William Haggas and ridden by Ryan Moore, the three-year-old was caught in a three-way finish and eventually lunged into the lead just before crossing the line.

Haggas said: said: “Wink Of An Eye is getting better, which is amazing because last year he was hopeless. This year he has matured and doesn’t take much out of himself, which helps his progression.

“He’ll run in another handicap now. I think he’ll get a mile and a half no problem, but the Queen has another one with us that will run over that trip, so we will have to separate them.”