Robert Winston landed a treble at Newcastle last night to cast off the nightmare of the previous day.
The jockey had the dubious honour of becoming the first rider to be found guilty of dangerous riding when he was stood down for 10 days at Carlisle on Thursday, and he was then banned for a further three days for careless riding at Hamilton in the evening.
All that was forgotten as he struck three times, with the highlight coming in the Northern Rock Gosforth Park Cup on Mornin Reserves.
Trainer Ian Semple’s bold prediction after watching Mornin Reserves win at Hamilton 16 days ago proved spot on when the four-year-old put up a fine display of sprinting to land the £35,000 (€51,000) race .
Winston had Mornin Reserves very smartly away and made the rest of the running, always appearing to have more than enough in reserve to hold off Beyond The Clouds by a length and three-quarters in the five-furlong dash.
Artie was a similar distance away in third, while The Tatling, who started favourite, lost his chance with a slow exit from the stalls.
Semple, who was not present, had said after that Hamilton win: “If he (Mornin Reserves) gets a good draw, they won’t see which way he goes in the Gosforth Park Cup!”
His assistant Gary Harrison, a joiner by trade, bought the gelding for “2,900gns plus VAT” out of the Mick Channon stable and had him in training last year with Donal Nolan.
He is proving a real bargain buy as he has won six times and has picked up nearly £50,000 in prize money.
Harrison said: “He was in at Chester and Doncaster over the weekend, but we decided to come here.
“The plan now is to go for the Rockingham Stakes at the Curragh on July 12.”
Winston had intended to appeal against his 10-day ban, but he said: “I have decided to let it go. I have been told that even if the offence was reduced to careless, the maximum for that is nine days and I would waste a day going to Portman Square.
“But the main thing is that Ted (Durcan), who was injured as a result of the incident, is all right.”
Of Mornin Reserves, he added: “He is the fastest horse I have ridden for a long time. I was able to give him a breather and I never thought they would catch us.”
The revival in Winston’s fortunes continued when he completed a quick double on Mannora in the cantorsport.co.uk Maiden Fillies’ Stakes, after which trainer Paul Howling said: “This is a lucky course for us. I have won the Gosforth Park Cup twice, maybe three times.
“I have been trying for ages to have a winner for Mannora’s owners (Arkland International (UK) Ltd) – I have two other horses for them and both of them will win.”
Winston went on to complete a treble when the odds-on Busted Flush tracked over to the rails quickly from the outside draw and made all in the Intersky Euro 2004 Selling Stakes.
Busted Flush was always in command and pulled well clear of Aggi Mac in the closing stages to win by three lengths.
Gareth Thomas persuaded Jim Goldie’s Repulse Bay to put his best foot forward, and that was good enough to bring success in thrilling fashion in the opening Bollinger Champagne Challenge Series Handicap.
The long-time leader Spitfire Bob saw off several challengers in the final three furlongs, but he could not repel the late thrust from Repulse Bay, who collared him in the last strides to score by a neck.
Thomas, 24, who is with Nicky Richards, was adding a first Flat win to seven over jumps and Goldie said: “Repulse Bay gave them four lengths out of the stalls. I think he just relaxes, but if they go a gallop he will pick them up.
“The horse is just a character and I told Gareth not to go for his whip. I said ‘if you hit him you are beat, his head will come up in your face!”’
The James Eustace-trained Welcome Stranger made it three wins from four starts this season when Jason Tate got him home by a head from Penny Cross in the cantorsport.co.uk Handicap.
And in the concluding Weatherbys Travel Classified Stakes, Kim Tinkler kept Cripsey Brook going in fine style to withstand the challenge of Ezz Elkheil by a neck for the Don Enrico Incisa-trained gelding’s third win in four starts this season.