John Gosden enjoyed a fruitful first visit to the racecourse since Monday’s resumption as he hit a double at Yarmouth – although his hot favourite suffered a surprise defeat.
All eyes were on 1-2 market leader Enemy in the first division of the #betyourway At Betway Novice Stakes, but he found Royal Ascot-bound Mister Snowdon three-quarters of a length too good in the seven-furlong heat.
However, stablemate Haqeeqy offered immediate compensation as he ran out a decisive two-and-a-half length winner of the second division.
Gosden said: “He is a nice horse and ran well last year. I was desperate to get them on track, so that is why I ran two here as they both got balloted out the other day.
“We will stay at seven with him and see what mark he gets and take it from there.”
On Enemy he added: “Enemy wants a mile now and he will be better off over that trip.”
Gosden, who was also on the mark in the opener withe Celestran, was impressed with the levels of preparation at Yarmouth to comply with the necessary hygiene and social distancing protocols employed the British Horseracing Authority.
He added: “It is very well organised. Sticking to the strict protocols is important. We are an outdoor sport and that makes a big difference.
“We are not in confined spaces in factories or offices and it makes perfect sense we can carry on perfectly sensibly and safely.”
While Richard Hughes has the Jersey Stakes in his sights for Mister Snowdon, The Lir Jet also put himself in the Royal Ascot frame with an impressive debut victory in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Auction Stakes.
The Michael Bell-trained juvenile looked money well spent when showing plenty of speed to leave his rivals toiling in the five-furlong contest.
Nick Bell, assistant trainer and owner, said “That was good. We bought him from Ireland about a month ago.
“He has done everything right at home and has shown plenty of speed. He has got a great attitude for a horse that was supposed to be a breeze-up horse.
“We were sweet on him today and the logical step would be to go to Ascot. I think we will see how he is, but I’d say it would be for the Norfolk.”
Mark Johnston continued his flying start to the new season thanks to a double via the regally-bred Maydanny in the Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap and Mountain Dreams in the Betway Casino EBF Median Auction Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
Charlie Johnston, the trainer’s son and assistant, said of Maydanny: “The gelding operation has transformed him. It was a tough decision for Sheikh Hamdan’s team to make.
“He was not mentally at the races at all last year, but he is a completely different animal now.
“It was a basement start in a 0-80, but he is one to look forward to. He had entries over a mile and a quarter, but this race looked the right one in terms of opportunities.”
Ed Vaughan kept his landlord Colin Murfitt happy as Inhalation (7-1) carried his colours to glory by three-quarters of a length in the Betway Handicap to form the first leg of a double for Hollie Doyle.
The Newmarket handler, speaking away from the track, said: “Colin is my landlord so there will be no rent increase now!
“He did get a bump on the way and when he got there he didn’t really know what to do, but Hollie (Doyle) gave him a flick and he picked up nicely.”
Lalania (16-1) from the yard of William Stone finished fastest of them all to take the concluding Read Andrew Balding On Betway Insider Handicap by half a length, giving Doyle her second brace in the space of two days.
Dubious Affair showed that stamina is her forte to make a triumphant first start for Charlie Fellowes in the Betway Handicap, while Ginger Max lifted the Betway Live Casino Handicap.