MALTON trainer Tim Easterby took the honours with a double today as Redcar rode out on the storm.

Officials at the seaside track worked wonders to provide the country’s only daytime racing in the face of Storm Babet.

Easterby’s first winner came in the second race when Glendown stayed on well in the tough conditions to win Division 2 of the Brannans Have Done The 61 Handicap for the Ontoawinner syndicate.

Winning jockey Duran Fentiman said: “He’s done it quite nicely. He travelled well and has just done enough to win, so I’m very happy with him.”

Asked about the conditions, Fentiman added: “The wind is the concern for the rest of the day – we just have to hope it doesn’t get any stronger.”

Easterby’s double came in the next race when debutante Valentine Catcher impressed in the Happy 40th Birthday Gary Sivills EBF Novice Stakes under David Allan.

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The Bated Breath colt was a cosy neck too good for favourite Eye of Dubai, with Allan saying: “I was impressed with that. He’s galloped well at home and showed enough but these conditions aren’t ideal for a debut. He ran a bit green, but he got there pretty easy, so I’d say there’s quite a bit of potential.”

The ground was officially soft at the start of the eight-race card but soon turned to heavy as the rain and high winds persisted.

Mereside Diva kicked things off by turning the tables on Sacred Falls to land Division One of The Brannans Have Done The 61 Handicap in the hands of Rossa Ryan.

The chestnut filly was half a length behind Sacred Falls at Ayr last time but came out on top this time – by a nostril!

Co-trainer Nicola Barron said: “We’re delighted to see her win again because she’s been unlucky a couple of times. I thought we were second again watching it live so it was a nice surprise to hear the result.”

The winner runs in the colours of Mereside Racing Ltd and spokesman Richard Kirk said: “We were worried about the conditions, but we know she’s got ability. She’ll be much better next year.”

The syndicate has three horses in training at Thirsk with David and Nicola Barron: Mereside Diva, Mereside Angel, and Mereside Madness.

“We’re looking forward to all of them next season,” added Richard.

Mud-lover John Kirkup relished the conditions to get up on the line to win the Sam Hall Memorial Handicap, honouring one of Redcar's greatest trainers.

Ridden by Dylan Hogan, trained near Darlington by David Thompson, and owned by Suzanne and Kevin Kirkup, it had been 29 runs since the eight-year-old’s last win.

Head lad Gary McCaskill said: “We were hopeful today because the ground’s spot on for him.”

Molten Rock looked a filly with a future after an impressive debut victory under Clifford Lee in the Market Cross Jewellers British EBF Restricted Novice Stakes. There was market confidence behind the daughter of Fascinating Rock, and she duly became another winner for the prolific Karl Burke yard.

Ratafia finally got off the mark after 16 attempts to win the Gary Wilson 65th Birthday Celebration Handicap under Jo Mason.

The jockey, whose smile shone through the gloom as she returned to the winner’s enclosure, said: “He’s needed every inch of that, and the heavy ground was a bonus. That’ll be the key to him going forward.”

The Iffraaj gelding, trained in Lincolnshire by Michael Herrington and owned by Ingram Racing, was running off the same mark as when he was a good second of 14 at Leicester last time out.

A spare ride for PJ McDonald came good in spectacular fashion as Run Zarak Run, trained at Newmarket by Harry Eustace, forged clear by 11 lengths in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Novice Stakes.

The winner had been due to be ridden by Hayley Turner, with McDonald booked to ride Shiva Shakti for Ed Walker. However, with Shiva Shakti a non-runner, and Turner opting not to make the journey in the bad weather, the Irishman snapped up the ride.

He said: “I was very lucky to get the ride because it had been a bad day up to then. We were always in control of the race. I wouldn’t say she was loving the ground, but she was handling it. It’s hard to judge form in these conditions but I’d be impressed enough.”

With Storm Babet showing no signs of abating, the meeting ended with a win for Grand National winning trainer Lucinda Russell as Stockbridge Tap got up on the line under Roisin Leech to land the Watch Racing Replays At Handicap for female amateur jockeys.

Foursome and Alice Keighley were a short-head away from follow-up last week’s win on similar ground at Nottingham.