JAMES Fanshawe was thrilled to see the well related Isola Verde make a winning start to her career in the Redcar Racecourse Supports Racing Welfare Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
The three-year-old is the first foal of the talented mare Firenze, who won six times for the Newmarket handler and owners Jan and Peter Hopper.
Fanshawe’s horses are not frequent visitors to the Teesside circuit and Isola Verde was the yard’s sole runner on the card, but she was still allowed to go off at 11-2. This was largely due to the presence of three-time runner-up Shaleek, but the 2-11 favourite was beaten a long way from home and eventually came home third.
Isola Verde travelled well throughout in the hands of Jack Mitchell and picked up smartly in the last of the six furlongs to score by two and a quarter lengths from Elegant Girl.
‘‘She’s the first foal of Firenze and it’s a family that’s been really good to the yard and her owners,’’ said Fanshawe.
‘‘I’m thrilled as she’s not the biggest but like the rest of the family, she’s very strong.
‘‘She took up the running in plenty of time, but showed a really good attitude to keep going.
‘‘The ground has obviously dried out quite a bit, which must have helped her.
‘‘With the way the weather has been I’ve been quite easy on the fillies, so it’s nice she’s been able to come out and get her head in front first time.
‘‘She didn’t run last year as like a lot of the family she has taken a while to come to hand, but she’s a nice strong filly with a good pedigree and it’s a good start.
‘‘I’m not sure where we’ll go next, we’ll see how things pan out.’’ There was a thrilling finish to the Betfred Is Backing Barney Handicap, with Malton handler Tim Easterby saddling the first two home.
It was 9-2 shot No Poppy and Adam Carter who gained a narrow verdict, beating stablemate Little Jimmy Odsox by a head.
Beckermet was just a nose further away in third, with Aquarian Spirit beaten a further head into fourth.
The application of a visor helped Priestley’s Reward get off the mark for the campaign in the Hambleton Racing Supports Barney’s Challenge Handicap.
Elaine Burke’s 5-1 chance was shaken up to go clear by Robert Winston a furlong out and despite being eased close home, he still passed the post with a length and a quarter in hand.
Chris Fairhurst’s Poppy Bond (16-1) made a winning debut in the GR Racing Is Backing Barney Median Auction Maiden Stakes.
The 16-1 shot looked to have lost all chance with a very slow start, but came home well to beat favourite Liber by half a length.
‘‘We thought she had a lot of ability but she’s been slow out of the stalls at home and I thought she’d probably blow her chance at the start,’’ said Fairhurst.
‘‘She was slow away and she’s done well to win, so we’re delighted.’’