Brian Ellison was delighted see Tashkhan claim a second win at Haydock this season with a decisive display in the £100,000 bet365 Handicap.
Bought privately from Irish trainer Emmet Mullins after winning at Navan in the spring, the three-year-old has already proved a shrewd purchase for his new connections.
A winner on Merseyside in May, the son of Born To Sea could only finish ninth in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, but looked far more comfortable back on rain-softened ground.
Ridden by 5lb claimer Harry Russell, the 16-5 chance moved moved pulled a length and a half clear of Summer’s Knight to leave his trainer considering an appearance at next month’s Ebor Festival at York.
Ellison said: “He loves that ground. We went to Ascot and we didn’t really want to run him, but decided to let him take his chance.
“He’s a proper horse. He won for Emmet Mullins off a mark in the 50s and we asked him if he was for sale and he said he was.
“I can see why he sold him because he shows absolutely nothing at home, but I love those type of horses that do it on the track.
“He’s in the John Smith’s Cup, but we’ll probably wait and look at the Melrose.
“I don’t think he’ll go anywhere unless there’s juice in the ground, though.”
Young Fire notched his third course and distance success in the Each Way Extra At bet365 Handicap.
The six-year-old had previously won back-to-back renewals of the same September handicap for trainer David O’Meara and returned with sound claims following successive placed efforts.
With morning rain turning conditions in his favour, 15-2 chance Young Fire finished with a flourish under a well-timed ride from Danny Tudhope to get up and beat Gifted Ruler by three-quarters of a length.
“That (soft) ground is a big plus for him – these are his conditions,” said the jockey.
“He ran off 96 today, which is his last winning mark. He’s a fair horse on his day and has been running well this year without winning.
“He’s a tricky horse who needs things to fall right. He needs them to go quick, likes to come through horses and not get there too soon – I’m glad he’s gone and done it today.”
Cashew (100-30) provided trainer George Boughey with his 19th two-year-old winner of the season in the bet365 Nursery.
Successful at Windsor in May before finishing second on her latest outing at Salisbury, the daughter of Bated Breath got back on the winning trail under Mark Crehan.
Boughey said: “She’s a very tough filly who likes that ground – when she won at Windsor it was almost unraceable.
“Hopefully she can win a few more.”
Four non-runners meant just three sprinters went to post for the bet365 Conditions Stakes – and it was Mick Appleby’s admirable veteran Danzeno (15-8) who claimed top honours with a neck verdict over 11-10 favourite Lampang.