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Pirate King plunders Lingfield riches

Pirate King defied a 13lb higher mark to win back-to-back renewals of the Betway Handicap at Lingfield.

A beaten odds-on favourite at the track just six days ago, punters kept the faith and sent him off at 10-11 to return to winning ways.

He had to be brave for Kieran Shoemark in the closing stages to beat Midnight Legacy by a neck and trainer Charlie Fellowes is now keen to see what he can do on turf.

“You couldn’t meet a kinder horse, but he hasn’t been easy to train,” said Fellowes.

“He absolutely loves Lingfield, but last time out – and I haven’t spoken to the clerk of the course about this – we just felt the course was riding deeper than normal due to all the cold weather.

“It was a bit of a risk running him again just six days later, but he’s done well to win.

“There’s a race back at Lingfield in about four weeks he could run in and while we never ran him on turf last summer due to one reason or another, I’d be keen to try this time.

“He’ll be rated nearly 100 now so maybe even the mile-and-a-half handicap at Royal Ascot (Duke of Edinburgh) could be something we’d look at, but he must have quick ground.”

Hayley Turner looked booked for second on Big Narstie (5-2) in the Bombardier “March To Your Own Drum” Maiden Stakes when Give ‘Em The Slip went by in the final furlong.

Richard Spencer’s three-year-old rallied to great effect though, to gain victory on just his second start following a promising debut in France.

Trainer Chris Dwyer and jockey Darragh Keenan teamed up in the opening Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap with Capla Crusader (11-2), while there was a 66-1 shock in the Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Novice Median Auction Stakes as the Simon Pearce-trained Red Evelyn ran down leader Valentinka close home.

Adam Kirby produced a fine ride to win on Lethal Lunch in the Bombardier British-Hopped Amber Beer Handicap.

Sent off at 14-1 following an inauspicious first run for Michael Bell after leaving Clive Cox, he prevailed in a blanket finish with the first six covered by just over a length.