Tim Pitt sent out his first winner since moving to Malton following his split with owner Willie Mackay last summer when Basalt ran away with the Book Tickets Online At southwell-racecourse.co.uk Maiden Stakes.
The former Aidan O’Brien-trained four-year-old, who was completing a double for his rider Greg Fairley, took up the running two out and the 7-4 favourite stuck to his task in drawing away to beat My Friend Fritz by nine lengths.
Pitt is now based in part of Tim Fitzgerald’s Norton Grange stable and was clearly delighted with the win.
He said: “It is good to be back and off the cold list!
“Basalt is a proper, proper horse. A good friend advised me to buy him and I got him cheap (16,000 guineas at Newmarket in October), I had more money to spend.
“He did a piece of work on the best grass gallops in the country last Saturday and when I pulled up I said to Tim that he would win two out of three Chester Cups.”
That two-and-a-quarter-mile test on the Roodee is the target in May and Pitt went on: “He was the first bet I have had for an awful long time today.
“He is a serious staying handicapper at the right end of the handicap. There are a few spots for him next week so I may run him under a penalty.”
Abergavenny-based David Evans and his son Richard teamed up with 25-1 chance Buzzin’Boyzee to win the southwell-racecourses.co.uk Selling Stakes, although it was a close call as she only a head to spare over Louisiade
The winner was retained without a bid and the jockey said: “I have been riding her at home and she has been working well, but that was a complete and utter surprise”!
Samuel Charles (13-8 favourite) was giving age and weight away in the Sponsor A Race By Calling 01636 814481 Claiming Stakes but still proved good enough to get home in front in the hands of Tom Queally, collaring long-time leader Rebellious Spirit inside the last 75 yards to win by a neck.
The 10-year-old was winning for the 18th time and his trainer Conor Dore said: “He does all he can to get himself beaten, he keeps a bit for himself and that is probably why he has lasted as long as he has.
“He only just does enough and I don’t know how much longer he will keep doing it.”
Racegoers were very thin on the ground at a meeting transferred from Wolverhampton and there were only four bookmakers in Tattersalls and two betting on the rails.
But the layers had a good start to the afternoon with the opening four-runner Race To Pontin’s For Gr8 Getaways Handicap going the way of 100-30 chance Silver Hotspur, with the 7-4 favourite Cerebus a disappointing third.
Winning trainer Michael Wigham was busy at his Newmarket stable and his representative Nick Hyde said: “Our horses are running well, we are firing them in.
“The seven furlongs suits him better than six furlongs, he does not like being pressurised over that trip.”
Peter Hiatt’s Blue Hills (100-30) ran below expectations here last week, but he was back on song in the Meet Chuckles The Monkey Pontin’s Handicap, although he only had a neck to spare in the hands of Phillip Makin.