MARY Reveley landed one of the big TV races at Doncaster last Saturday, while Andy Crook missed out by the narrowest of margins in the other.

Tees Components took the Grade 2 River Don Novices' Hurdle in superlative style under Alan Dempsey for the Lingdale handler, a race she had previously taken with Cab On Target 12 years ago. Her winner this year looks set for the Grade 1 Sun Alliance at Aintree now.

Ryalux, one of our Fifteen to Follow, duly took his place in the Great Yorkshire Chase, along with Robbo and Gunner Welburn as discussed last week, plus Ferdy Murphy's Paris Pike.

Andy Crook's charge, partnered by Richard McGrath, ran a fantastic race, leading after the last and only caught on the line in a ding-dong battle with Martin Pipe's Barryscourt Lad by the narrowest of margins.

To add insult to injury for the Coverham trainer, so near and yet so far in this big race, his expensive French purchase Spainkris, which won so well on his hurdling debut recently at Ayr, may now lose that race on a technicality - an irregularity with the export papers.

Due to run again tomorrow at Wetherby in the £30,000 Gerrard Wealth Management Hurdle - if the weather allows - Spainkris will be worth watching. But also listed, and if running would take all the beating, is Rhinestone Cowboy (Jonjo O'Neill).

Our tip? Perhaps the upstairs-downstairs bet, that is a reverse forecast or exacta on the top and bottom in the handicap - Rhinestone Cowboy and Spainkris. Norman Williamson is listed for the top weight, while Crook's bottom weight has useful claimer Paul Robson booked.

To return to the Great Yorkshire, and the others, former Scottish National winner Paris Pike fell at the third and is now heading for the Tote Eider at Newcastle. Gunner Welburn disappointed and Robbo clearly wasn't in the mood, finishing tenth and 11th respectively. Bob Woodhouse's 66-1 shot Donnybrook was fourth and in the place/each-way money.

Silver Knight, another of our 15, was a disappointing sixth in the River Don, with first-time blinkers seeming to fizz him up too much.

Two more of our 15 were each third in their respective races - Exstoto in the closing handicap hurdle at Doncaster and Sea Drifting at Cheltenham in the novice handicap chase. He would probably have been second but for swerving past a faller at the penultimate fence.

Mary Reveley avoided the Great Yorkshire for A Piece Of Cake, sending him up to Ayr for the handicap chase there, a shrewd move as he won well under Fergus King, beating Norman Mason's homebred son of Gunner B, Red Striker. Mason won earlier with Xaipete.

The Brancepeth permit holder sent out a homebred to win at Newcastle, Red Minster under Tony Coyle. The conditional was riding a first winner for 750 days, as he had been banned for 18 months for failing to give a drugs sample in 2001. He joined Mason in September and took out a licence again on January 1.

New boy Neil Mulholland rode a first winner for his boss Ferdy Murphy at Musselburgh on Bit O Magic.

Murphy was on the mark again at Newcastle with Island Faith, Davy Russell up. His stable star Historg is due to run in the Singer & Friedlander National Trial tomorrow at Uttoxeter - weather permitting.


Richard Fahey "won" another race with Inch Perfect in the Jockey Club disciplinary panel appeal room on Thursday last. Readers will recall that Dean Mernagh hit the horse over the head more than once in a recent Southwell race as he passed the post first on Mr Gisby.

The winner was disqualified in Portman Square and Inch Perfect promoted to first because, unlike the stewards on the day, the panel felt Mernagh's actions were deliberate. The rider was given a ten-day ban.

Fahey said afterwards: "We didn't come here to hang Dean, who is a nice lad", but he was pleased to be awarded the race. This was his second successful appeal in a fortnight - you'll recall that Altay was re-awarded a Lingfield race after the stewards demoted him for drifting left.

However, Inch Perfect could not repeat Altay's trick of winning again when appearing at Wolverhampton on Friday. Under Robert Winston, the favourite could not do better than third under top weight.


Thursday last week. - Southwell AW: Penwell Hill (trained by D Barron, at Maunby; owned by Mrs L Jones), ridden by D McKeown; Beady (B Smart, Hambleton; trainer), Mrs V Smart.

Fri. - No DST area winners.

Sat. - Doncaster: Tees Components (M Reveley, Lingdale; Tees Components Ltd), A Dempsey.

Ayr: Xaipete (N Mason, Brancepeth; permit holder), Mr L McGrath (claiming 7lbs allowance); A Piece Of Cake (M Reveley; Lightbody Celebration Cakes Ltd), F King (5).

Mon. - Wolverhampton AW: Quito (D Chapman, Stillington; M Hill), T Culhane.

Tue. - Musselburgh: Bit O Magic (F Murphy, West Witton; G Adam), N Mullholland (3); Roveretto (M Reveley; Codan Trust Co Ltd), F King (5); The Manse Brae (M Jefferson, Norton; Ashleybank Investments Ltd), V Keane (3).

Southwell AW: Bergamo (B Ellison, Norton; Rasen Goes Racing), D Fox (7); Carlton (J Quinn, Settrington; Mrs G Page), R Winston.

Wed. - Newcastle: Island Faith (F Murphy; K Lee), D Russell; Tribal Dispute (T Easterby, Great Habton; Mrs J E Pallister), R Garritty; Red Minster (N Mason; Hb, permit holder), T Coyle (5)