Happy ending for tenacious Lucky Story

LUCKY STORY produced a performance of remarkable tenacity to take the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster .

The Mark Johnston-trained colt took the advantage from the starting stalls and fought off all challengers to land the Group Two contest.

The time failed to leave clockwatchers gasping but it was the manner of his success that rightfully took the plaudits.

The 2-1 chance looked set to capitulate when odds-on favourite Haafhd drew alongside, seemingly going the better, two furlongs out.

But having survived that threat, Lucky Story then had to hold the

late thrust of 8-1 chance Auditorium, who got to within a neck under a full Kieren Fallon drive but no closer.

"He's still a baby and very laid back he's not as streetwise as you would think," said winning rider Darryll Holland.

"But he is very, very gutsy and his heart is in the right place."

Shabernak is proving another money-spinner for the successful Thurloe Thoroughbreds syndicate and added to his earnings with a game victory in the Tote Exacta Mallard Stakes.

Shabernak (10-1) got the better of Itemise by three-quarters of a length after a ding-dong battle throughout the final three furlongs, with the first two drawing eight lengths clear of Distant Prospect in third. Dubai Success won the orderIT-online.com Troy Stakes in good style and he could be a horse to follow next year.

Barry Hills only decided to run the son of Sadler's Wells in the Listed race when the rain came earlier in the week.

It proved to be wise as the three-year-old, a 9-2 shot and ridden by the trainer's son Michael, got the better of Wareed in the final furlong to score by two and a half lengths.

Michael Hills' twin brother Richard brought Rawyaan with a sweeping run on the outside to spring a 25-1 surprise in the opening Amco Corporation Conditions Stakes.

Mick Channon and Tony Culhane teamed up to complete a 120-1 double with Jazz Scene (10-1) and Checkit (10-1).

At Downpatick, trainer Ronnie O'Leary enjoyed a welcome change of luck when Hanko landed the Fosters Beginners Chase.

Carrying the colours of JP McManus, the previously disappointing seven-year-old recorded an emphatic eight lengths win over favourite Mr. Wong in the hands of Norman Williamson.

Spin In The Wind, winner of a Tralee bumper last time, made a successful handicap debut in the Hamilton and Kirk Handicap Hurdle.

Trained by Michael Hourigan, the 6/4 favourite travelled well for Timmy Murphy before leading early on the run-in to easily beat Team Allstar.

Trainer Eamonn "Dusty" Sheehy and jockey Shay Barry took the honours with a double.

Autumn Mist proved a shock winner of the Downpatrick Race Supporters Maiden Hurdle before Wall St Station completed the double in the Hamilton and Kirk Handicap Chase.

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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