Joy for McCabe at Pontefract

Joy for McCabe at Pontefract

Tislaam led home stable companion Kensington to give trainer Alan McCabe a one-two in a thrilling Pontefract Apprentice Handicap today.

The former was sent off the 7-2 market leader on the back of a victory at Kempton a week ago and hugged the rail throughout in the hands of Nathan Alison.

Kensington was also ridden prominently by Nora Looby and struck the front as the field rounded the turn for home, in company with Bid For Gold.

The pair settled down to fight it out up the straight, but Tislaam was able to squeeze between the duo inside the final furlong to score by a head.

Kensington just managed to claim the runner-up spot, with Bid For Gold only a short head away in third.

"That was great and he's a winner without a penalty now. He's in at Wolverhampton on Friday and Catterick on Saturday, but we could even wait until Kempton again next week," said McCabe.

"It was a great run from Kensington as well. It's great for Nora as she works hard and gave him a good ride.

"The horses are running well and things are going great."

Old Master Expert confirmed the promise of two previous placed efforts by getting off the mark in the Roger Tranter Appreciation Median Auction Maiden Stakes.

Michael Bell's only runner on the card was sent off the even-money favourite for this five-furlong dash and travelled kindly on the heels of the leaders.

Hygrove Gal put up a determined effort from the front but once given the office by Jimmy Fortune, Old Master Expert picked up strongly passing the one-furlong marker to score by a neck.

Brian Ellison's Daaweitza bounced back to winning ways with a determined effort in the Rifles Challenge Handicap.

The 8-1 chance had been largely disappointing during the middle part of the season but a couple of months off the track appeared to have helped when he was a narrow second at Redcar at the end of August.

Ridden by talented claimer Dale Swift, the chestnut was always well to the fore and just as he looked beaten, he rallied back and found extra, eventually passing the post two lengths ahead of Raleigh Quay.

"We decided to freshen him up and he has come back well. He ran well at Redcar last time and has done it nicely," said Ellison.

"Dale is doing well. He's good value for his 5lb and he listens to what you tell him.

"This horse will go for the final (of the Straight-Mile Championship) back at Redcar now - along with half my string!"

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