Seven Brothers has the answer to Popmaster at Doncaster

Seven Brothers made a winning seasonal reappearance at Doncaster when taking the Handicap for Kevin Ryan and Kevin Stott.

His victory was subject to a photo finish, however, with Ed Walker’s 5-4 favourite Popmaster crossing the line only a nose behind the 13-2 winner.

The three-year-old was beaten only once from three runs last season, the sole loss coming when he tackled the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes, and Stott felt a winter break had been of benefit after his two-year-old campaign.

“We liked this horse a lot last year after his two wins,” the jockey said.

“I think because he was a breeze-up last year, by the end of the year everything had just got to him a bit.

“We put him away after the Gimcrack and he really strengthened up over the winter, mentally as well. I couldn’t fault him today.

“I wasn’t too sure if I’d won actually, but all credit to the horse.

“I’m very sure he’ll come on from this run, I think he’ll definitely go forward.”

Stott then claimed a double on the card when Ben Lilly obliged at 5-2 to take the two-and-a-half-mile Follow At The Races On Twitter Handicap for trainer David Brown.

The four-year-old was tested at the staying distance for the first time after winning over a mile and six furlongs on his latest appearance at Wolverhampton, but the expended trip was no hinderance as he came home a length and a quarter ahead of Sashenka.

Tom Clover’s Rogue Bear was a winner on his racecourse debut when taking the Visit Novice Stakes under Jack Mitchell.

The three-year-old was one of only two of runners taking to the track for the first time from the field of nine, but his inexperience proved no disadvantage as he surged to a smart one-and-a-quarter-length success at 18-1.

“He’s a really talented horse and he’s shaped up so nicely at home,” said Clover of the Kodiac gelding.

“He has been gelded as he’s not the most straightforward to train, but he’s really grown up the last month or two.

Rogue Bear and Jack Mitchell on the way to victory
Rogue Bear and Jack Mitchell on the way to victory (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We’d hoped he’d show us something like that and to actually go and do it is really impressive.”

Secretinthepark made his 60th run under rules a successful one as he claimed the Free Tips Daily On Handicap.

The Josephine Gordon-trained 11-year-old was fourth on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket earlier in the month and looked as game as ever when battling past 9-4 favourite Autumn Flight to prevail at 7-2 for trainer Michael Mullineaux.

“He ran a very good race last time at Newmarket, his first run back after a break,” Gordon said.

“I’m not normally that confident, but I did quite fancy him today.

“He’s straightforward, he knows more about racing than we do as he’s 11 years old.

“He travels good and luckily he’s still got loads of toe left in him.

Secretinthepark was a popular winner
Secretinthepark was a popular winner (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I don’t think the same jockey has ever won on him more than once, so we’ll go for the second (win) next time!”

John and Thady Gosden’s Side Shot appreciated a return to a left-handed track as he held on to the take the Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap under Robert Havlin.

The Frankel gelding was second on his seasonal reappearance at Kempton in March and went one better this time on Town Moor, prevailing by three-quarters of a length at 9-2.

“A nice galloping track is what he wants, he’s a funny horse,” Havlin said.

“He’s always better going left-handed, at Kempton the last day I could barely keep him on the rail, but he’s a horse that will probably stay a mile and a half.

“I went out with no plan, I could have made it (the running) but I was happy with where I was, the gallop was even and I had plenty of time up the straight here.”

The penultimate race on the card, the Download The At The Races App Fillies’ Handicap, went to 16-1 chance Al Simmo for Steph Hollinshead and Clifford Lee, before the Sky Sports Racing Virgin 535 Handicap was taken by Astrogem (8-1) for Ryan Tate and Harry Eustace.