16 Jul 2019


Jockey Joe Fanning made a winning return to Ayr Racecourse yesterday on Glasgow Fair Family Raceday at the track when riding Walk In Marrakesh to win the opening novice stakes.

Joe had been out injured but rode winners on his comeback at Catterick, Doncaster and Newmarket last week before winning on his first mount at Ayr since May.

The Mark Johnston filly, sent off at 4-6, had to give weight to all her rivals but won easily by five lengths from Alix James.

Joe rode the mighty Shamardal to win the corresponding race at the meeting in 2004 before the horse went on to win Group 1s and then become one of the most sought after stallions in the country.

Joe said : “I don’t know where the time has gone it’s hard to believe that was 15 years ago. I’m not saying this filly will win Group 1s but she is a very good prospect.”

The feature race of the afternoon, the Weddings At Western House Hotel Handicap over a mile saw Club Wexford, 9-2, trained by Roger Fell and ridden by Ben Robinson win his second Class 2 handicap at the track this season and made it all to hold off course specialist Nicholas T by three quarters of a length.

Richard Fahey and his stable apprentice Sean Davis won the NSP Productions Event Management Handicap with Ramesses, a 9-2 chance, who stayed every inch of the seven furlongs and 50 yards to win by three quarters of a length from Esprit De Corps.

Former jockey Philip Makin saddled his Ayr winner as a trainer when Alfa McGuire made all under Sam James to hold off the fast finishing Strong Steps and win by a nose at odds of 7-1.

The biggest priced winner of the day came in the last when Lizzie Loch won the concluding apprentice handicap in the hands of Izzy Clifton for trainer Alistair Whillans at odds of 33-1 just pipping another Whillans trained horse, Donnachies Girl by half a length.


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