ALAN BERRY notched a mouth-watering 675-1 double by winning the first two races at Catterick yesterday courtesy of Sweetly Sharp and Kinky, both at 25-1.

Berry's juveniles are normally well forward at this time of year but the weather at his Cockerham in Lancashire base has not been kind and he's had to wait until now for his first two-year-old scorer, Sweetly Sharp, successful in the opening five-furlong Selling Stakes.

The filly appeared to have little chance with over a furlong to go but Patrick Mathers kept niggling away and once he had switched Sweetly Sharp to the wide outside, she flew to mug Garstang right on the line.

"She didn't handle the all-weather on her debut and was very disappointing," said Berry, who retained Sweetly Sharp without a rival bid at the subsequent auction.

"It's also been so cold and wet at home that all of our runners seem to be needing their first outing."

Berry didn't have to wait long for his second triumph on the card as Kinky nosed home in the seven-furlong Levy Board Handicap.

"I hope he can win again for owner Paul Dixon because he's been very patient with this colt, who suffered from a twisted gut in 2004," said Berry.

Another trainer in double form was Mark Johnston, responsible for sending out the Sheikh Mohammed-owned duo, Melrose Avenue and Stage School, to win races three and four respectively.

Melrose Avenue was first on stage, outgunning stable companion Takhmin, thus recording a one-two for the yard in the Richmond Conditions Stakes.

Although made a hot 4/7 favourite, Takhmin couldn't get past the 13/8 winner, Melrose Avenue, given a brilliant front-running tactical ride by jockey Joe Fanning.

"Melrose Avenue was on a recovery mission today, he started off really well last year and then went off the boil," said Deirdre Johnston, who was on duty while husband Mark did the honours at Epsom.

"At least we know he's back to something like his best."

Fanning notched his own personal brace when taking no prisoners aboard his second all-the-way winner, Stage School, a fabulously well bred half-sister to Breeders Cup Juvenile hero Arazi.

Fanning kicked Stage School straight into the lead and was never headed in the seven-furlong contest. "Joe said she showed plenty of speed so we'll keep her to this distance," said Mrs Johnston.

The closing Apprentice Handicap fell to Legal Set, trained just around the corner from the course by Ann Stokell at Brompton-on-Swale.

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