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Bridge boost for Spencer

Tue, 15 May 2012
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Jockey Jamie Spencer shrugged off a bad fall on the eve of York's Dante meeting by claiming a winner at Beverley.

The 2005 champion jockey must have feared for his participation at the big three-day fixture on the Knavesmire once he was unseated from Panama Cat in the opening five-furlong maiden.

Spencer fleetingly remained motionless on the turf, but he was later declared fit enough to take his three remaining mounts, of which Bridgehampton was a game winner of the Beverley Middle Distance Series Handicap.

The Michael Bell-trained three-year-old was never too far off a stop-start pace initiated by Henry George and galloped earnestly clear two furlongs out. Cheviot Quest briefly threatened, but succumbed by four lengths to the 3-1 favourite, who was stepping up to a mile and a half for the first time in his short career.

Spencer said: "I'm a bit sore, but I'm OK (for York). It was a bad race, but his dam is a half-sister to Fame And Glory and he was always going to improve for the step up in trip."

Mick Easterby is another for whom the Dante meeting cannot come quickly enough as Hoof It is set to run in the Duke Of York Stakes. The sprinter is owned by golfer Lee Westwood and his agent 'Chubby' Chandler, who were on the scoresheet with On The Hoof in the Nosebag Cafeteria Maiden Stakes.

The grey (14-1) hugged the far rail in the hands of Paul Mulrennan to take the not inconsiderable scalp of 5-6 favourite Courage by a nose, and Chandler later tweeted that he had backed the winner in a treble along with Hoof It and Hoofalong, who runs in a York maiden.

Ian McInnes was celebrating when Top Notch Tonto struck in the TurfTV Betting Shop Service Maiden Stakes. The chestnut was fourth over course and distance last Monday and despite his trainer's fears this assignment could be a bridge too far, Paddy Mathers' mount showed a shift of gear to win by a length and a half.

McInnes said of the 17-2 winner: "My worry was I'd rushed him after last week, but I knew he'd appreciate the ground. I think he'll get further than five furlongs, but I don't know what we'll do with him now."

Made In The Shade (5-1) and jockey Amy Ryan coped best with a challenging crosswind to take the Fantastic Prizes At Lucky In Love Selling Stakes. Paul Midgley's inmate went for broke three furlongs out and never really looked like being overtaken by favourite Red Shadow, who was half a length away.

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