SEDGEFIELD racecourse owes a debt of gratitude to regular sponsor John Wade, so it was a fitting result when Devil's Run claimed the feature event at the track yesterday, the £7,000 Tote Exacta Handicap Chase, writes Colin Woods.

Owned and trained by Wade, Devil's Run landed the spoils in scintillating style, putting a good deal of daylight between himself and second home Begsy's Bullet.

"He's been knocking on the door just lately and deserved to win that," said the jubilant local businessman after the seven-year-old had routed his five rivals in the two-mile-and-five-furlong event.

All-in-all the popular local permit holder had quite a busy afternoon having earlier presented the prize for the John Wade Skip Hire Selling Handicap Hurdle to Dr Roy Palmer, owner of Arthurs Kingdom. Middleham handler Kate Milligan was breaking a losing run stretching back to December 5 when Arthurs Kingdom stormed to an emphatic victory.

It was also a red-letter day for Toulon Rouge, who notched her first ever success over jumps in the Ingrid Flute Holiday Accommodation Novices' Hurdle.

Ferdy Murphy's mare had a previous course victory to her name, but that was in a National Hunt Flat contest and despite several attempts had been unable to get off the mark over timber until now.

"Toulon Rouge loves it round here and that was not unexpected," said Craig Mudd, spokesman for the winning connections, the 250-strong Racecourse Club Owners Group.

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