Sunday 22 October 2017

Victory at Catterick for General Direction

Nick Robson

IRISH raider General Direction went one place better than he did at Naas last time when victorious at Catterick.

The Reginald Roberts-trained colt beat all bar Aidan O'Brien's Francis Of Assisi earlier this month, but there was nothing of that class in the catterickbridge.co.uk Median Auction Maiden Stakes.



Sent off the 7-4 favourite, Paul Mulrennan bounced General Direction out of the stalls and, despite being pestered throughout, he drew steadily clear to beat Brooke's Bounty by a length and a half.



Roberts is based in County Kildare and has had only a handful of runners in England in recent years.



Jimmy Feane, owner John James Feane's father, said: "We brought him over here because we were unlikely to bump into Aidan O'Brien.



"He's quite a nice little horse, but that will probably be it for this season."



The winner of the Go Racing At Wetherby This Friday Handicap, Half A Billion, is trained a little closer to home, just up the road in Darlington.



Michael Dods' three-year-old gelding has been running consistently well all season but appeared in the grip of the handicapper since winning off 73 at Musselburgh in May.



Connor Nichol seemed intent on getting a prominent position along with Blue Shoes but his partner was very keen and looked sure to tire late on.



However, despite Ashpan Sam coming with a late rattle under Graham Lee, Half A Billion (7-1) held on by a nose, with Blue Shoes third.



Co-owner Ian Galletley said: "That was great, to top it off he won best-turned-out as well."

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