Platform to build on for returning Bell ace

Platform Nineteen made a winning comeback at Beverley after a 648-day absence from the racecourse.

Contesting the two-mile 135th Year Of The Watt Memorial Handicap, the chestnut was running for the first time since October 2019 after injury ended a successful three-year-old campaign that saw him victorious in four successive races.

Now five and clearly retaining both his ability and enthusiasm, the Michael Bell-trained gelding breezed to a five-and-a-half-length victory under Clifford Lee after starting at a price of 5-1.

“It was a fantastic training performance,” said Harry Herbert, racing manager to owners the Royal Ascot Racing Club.

“He was on a very steep upward curve and then injury blighted him.

“He was off for all of that time, since Ascot in 2019, and you never know how they will come back as they obviously change and develop through the absence.

“It was absolutely remarkable to get him back like that, a huge round of applause is due to Michael Bell and all of the Fitzroy House team because it really is extraordinary.”

The five-furlong Taff Sarginson Memorial Handicap went the way of Adrian Keatley’s Twice Adaay, who benefited from the application of cheekpieces to take the contest when piloted by jockey Harry Russell.

The victory was a first for the filly, who has largely been campaigned on the all-weather thus far, and she lost her maiden tag convincingly when crossing the line two and a quarter lengths ahead of Elzaal at 6-1.

“We were delighted with her,” Keatley said.

“She showed potential a while a go, but it’s just taken her a few runs, the track suited today as well as the ground and everything came together.

“I think the draw helped more than the cheekpieces.

“My horses have been running well without winning for a while now, including this one, so hopefully this can be the start of turning a corner as we’ve a lot of catching up to do.”

Division one of the Racing TV EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes was claimed by debutant La Feile (14-1) as she made her first racecourse experience a winning one when registering a length and a quarter victory.

Trained by Richard Fahey and ridden by Paul Hanagan, the Aclaim filly was impressive when beating Karl Burke’s twice-winner Sophie’s Star.

“That was lovely and she’ll have learned a lot from it as well,” Hanagan said.

“They went quite hard early on and she just struggled to find her feet, but once she found the top gear she really motored home.

“To win first time out is a big achievement, she’s still very green and raw so there’s a lot to improve on after today.”

May Blossom was victorious in division two of the Racing TV EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes for Danny Tudhope and David O’Meara, striking at 9-2 to claim her second success by three-quarters of a length.

The Dr Eddie Moll Handicap was won by Tim Easterby’s Ugo Gregory, who went off the 11-10 favourite and duly triumphed under David Allan when crossing the line three and a quarter lengths ahead of Roger Fell’s Medicine Jack.

Clodovea then gave the trainer and jockey combination a quickfire double as the filly struck when evens favourite to take the Racing Again Next Monday Evening Nursery Handicap by a neck from Ben Haslam’s On The River.

The 25th Year Of The Hurn Racing Club Handicap, run over 10 furlongs, went the way of Berry Edge (7-1) for Connor Beasley and Michael Dods, with the Pro Versus Am Female Jockeys’ Handicap then taken by Contrast (7-1) for Joanna Mason and Mick and David Easterby.