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Fab five for Fossgate

Mon, 06 August 2012

James Bethell's veteran Fossgate won the SIS Live Handicap at Ripon for the fifth time in seven years.

Having finished a close second in a race named in his honour here a month ago, the 11-year-old sat off a furious pace before coming with a late rattle under Graham Lee. The winner returned at 9-2, holding on by head after trying to pull himself up in front.

"He's a superstar. They went a million miles an hour up front but I got there too soon and he thought he'd done enough," said Lee.

Bethell's daughter, Jessica, said: "He's such a lovely old horse and loves it here - he still wants to win. It was a superb ride by Graham, but a lot of credit must go to my Mum (Sally), who rides him every day."

Caranbola (9-1) has proved a real money-spinner for Mel Brittain down the years as the durable mare landed another decent prize in the Armstrong Memorial Handicap.

Runner-up in the Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley as a juvenile, she has now finished first or second on 17 of her 50 starts and won well over £50,000. Not bad going for a filly who cost just £2,000.

The six-year-old had only run at Doncaster on Saturday but showed no ill effects as Silvestre de Sousa drove her home to beat the bang-in-form Spinatrix by three-quarters of a length. De Sousa has now won three out of four races on the mare.

Brittain, enjoying his best season for some time, said: "I thought she could only win at Beverley (six victories) but she won her maiden here."

Mark Johnston's amazing run of form shows no signs of stopping. After a relatively quiet first half of the season for the Middleham man, his string have sprung into life and he won the gong for being top trainer at Glorious Goodwood.

Universal (7-1), having his first start for the yard since leaving Godolphin, made a mockery of his opening mark of 79 under De Sousa in the Children's Day Handicap.