DENNIS Mawer’s lifetime in racing started as a YTS boy with Grand National-winning trainer Denys Smith at Bishop Auckland – and today he was celebrating as a winning owner at Redcar.

Mr Mawer, of Toft Hill, received the biggest cheer of the day at the seaside course after his Kicking The Can won the Start Your Racing UK Free Trial Now Handicap Stakes under a fine ride by apprentice Lewis Edmunds.

The grey gelding, trained at Bolam, near Darlington, by David Thompson, outbattled the Chris Grant-trained Connemara Queen to take the spoils.

Loading article content

After starting with Denys Smith, Mr Mawer worked for Richard Guest and Howard Johnson, and went into racehorse ownership two years when he bought Kicking The Can at the Ascot Sales.

“He ran 18 times last season and won his maiden so it’s nice to get another win,” said Mr Mawer, who sees the gelding’s long-term future as a jumper.

Malton trainer Richard Fahey, fresh from Ribchester’s brilliant Royal Ascot success this week, scored a quick-fire double in the first two races of the day. Faradays Spark wore down Welsh raider Give Em A Clump in the opener and Northwest Frontier justified favouritism in the second. Both were ridden by Tony Hamilton.

Jockey Philip Makin also notched a double when David O’Meara’s Hajjam upset odds-on Newmarket raider Call Me Grumpy, trained by Roger Varian, in the fifth race. Makin had earlier got off the mark when the Keith Dalgleish-trained Maulesden May stayed on too strongly for Mark Johnston’s Celestation.

Johnston, having just celebrated Permian’s momentous victory in the King Edward Stakes at Royal Ascot, had high hopes with Town Charter in the Racing UK Straight Mile Series Handicap but the race went to Mutahaady, trained by fellow Middleham handler Karl Burke The last race of the day also went to Middleham, with James Bethell’s Flawlessly holding on under Nathan Evans in a tight finish from Muatadel.

Flawlessly had finished third at Redcar a month ago, having gone off too quickly in front. He led from the start again but this time had enough gas left in the tank.

“He’s learning with each run,” reported Bethell’s travelling head lad Liam Reeves.

Redcar's popular Ladies' Day meeting features another seven-race card tomorrow (Saturday, June 24), with the first race at 1.35pm and gates opening at 11am.