COUNTY Durham trainer Michael Dods landed the feature race at Redcar today with first-time cheekpieces helping to keep Tinto focused.

The seven-year-old gelding, who skipped an entry in the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood due to soft ground, relished what Dods described as “beautiful racing ground” at Redcar.

With jockey David Nolan always looking confident, Tinto breezed into the lead over a furlong out and finished a length and a half clear of Jane Chapple-Hyam’s fast-finishing Aplomb.

The Denton Hall trainer, who was scoring for the 34th time this season, said: “We felt he wasn’t quite going through with his effort so Connor Beasley suggested the cheek-pieces and they’ve worked, along with the ground.”

There was a poignant outcome in The Market Cross Jewellers Handicap, when Pete The Brief outbattled Grant Tuer’s Fortuitous Star by a neck.

The gelding, trained at Malton by Tim Easterby, was named after well-known racing figure and solicitor, Pete Gorvin, who died two years ago, and his son, Mike, was at Redcar to see the horse break his maiden.

One of Pete’s horses, My American Beauty, was the first ever Sunday winner at York when trained by Easterby 23 years ago. And he later introduced Pete The Brief’s owner, John Hanbury, to the Easterby yard.

Mike said: “It’s very emotional and lovely to be here to see a horse named after my dad win.”

Easterby added: “Peter was such a lovely man who was so knowledgeable about racing. He knew everything that was going on and was a big friend of the yard, so it’s wonderful to see the horse win.

“We thought he’d run well at Leicester, but it was trainer error, running over a trip that was too short.”

Caribbean Carnival Day at Redcar got off to a good start for favourite-backers when Vixey – trained at Middleham by Chris Fairhurst and ridden by Tom Eaves – won the opening Download The Vickers.Bet App Restricted Maiden Stakes.

The filly, owned by retired rail controller Allan Davies, has been knocking on the door and he was “thrilled” to see her get her head in front.

He said: “She’s lovely and so consistent, and it’s fantastic to see her win.”

Jockey Tom Eaves told Racing TV: “Plan A was to get some cover but there wasn’t a lot, so I went to Plan B and made the running. She’s very game and was the one to beat on form.”

Painters Palette stayed on stoutly under Alistair Rawlinson to take Division One of the Woodsmith Construction Group Handicap.

The Lope de Vega gelding, trained by Rebecca Menzies, at Sedgefield, is owned by the Horse Watchers syndicate, and it was a case of the highs and lows of racing for members.

Their Starshiba was withdrawn at Haydock and, minutes later, Painters Palette was in the Redcar winner’s enclosure.

Racing TV expert Chris Dixon, who runs The Horse Watchers with brother Martin, said: “That’s the swings and roundabouts of racing.”

Chris added: “He’s been a bit tricky and gets himself worked up at the races but Becky gave him a hack this morning to take the freshness out of him, and she’s done a great job. He’s a horse going the right way.”

Members of another syndicate, Ownaracehorse, were celebrating after the next race when Crown Princess, trained at Malton by Ollie Pears, outfought Shaladar under a strong ride by Graham Lee in the Woodsmith Construction Group Hcap (DivII).

Syndicate manager Richard Laws revealed that the Mehmas mare was in her last season before being retired to stud.

“She’s a fabulous mare and she’s always been one of the main characters in the yard. She’ll go off to be a brood mare at the end of this season and, whoever breeds from her, we would definitely be interested in the foal!”

Basholo, trained at Garstang by Stella Barclay, is scheduled for a return to Redcar on August 26 after winning The Celebrate The Life of Ann Allport Classified Stakes under 7lbs-claimer Alex Jary.

The Caravaggio filly is owned by Tony Culhane Racing, and Tony’s wife, Bev, said: “She’s had a few niggles and we’ve worked really hard to change a few things and it’s worked out today.”

Visitant landed the final race, The Vickers Bet Weekly Bet Club Handicap Stakes, for Darlington trainer David Thompson and jockey David Allan.

There was a nasty fall close home, involving Funky Town Pinkie, but it was a relief to see 7lbs claimer Elle-May Croot get up and walk away apparently unscathed.