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Two Divisions Kick Off The Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Series

With the start of the flat turf season at Doncaster comes the return of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Season, supported by White Rose Saddlery, and as has become a recent trend, the race divided at the declaration stage.

Bustaam wins Division 1 of the William Hill NRMB On The Grand National Apprentice Handicap, round 1 of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Series, supported by White Rose Saddlery.
Picture credit: Nigel Kirby Photography

Following a winter of incessant rain, the opening meeting was staged on ground that was described as soft, heavy in places and with a strong headwind, the conditions were testing.

12 runners went to post for Division one of the William Hill NRMB on The Grand National Apprentice Handicap.  Quickly into stride, Natchez Trace raced keenly under Zak Wheatley at the head of affairs, with Distinction and Alec Voikhansky upsides.

The field raced predominantly in pairs with a length or so between them, for the first half of the race.  Rounding the bend to come into the home straight runners got closer together, but Natchez Trace remained in front.  As Distinction began to drop back with three and a half furlongs to go, Ethan Jones encouraged his mount, Moonlit Cloud take second spot and Vellner made progress up the inside.

Bustaam was asked for an effort by Joe Leavy, just before the two-furlong pole and quickly joined Moonlit Cloud in front.  He took a clear lead inside the final furlong and went on to win, eased down, by three lengths.

The unexposed four-year-old has clearly enjoyed a break after five runs between September and November last year and it looks like there could be more to come for the Raymond Treacy owned and David O’Meara trained Bustaam.

There were 11 runners in division two, which started in a similar fashion to the previous race.  Eleven Eleven was leading the field under Luke Catton and by the half-way point was three lengths clear, Val Bassett and Joe Leavy led the chasing pack, with Molly Valentine under Ethan Jones and Big Bear Hug for Alice Bond, close behind.

By the three-furlong marker, Eleven Eleven began to lose his place and Val Bassett and Big Bear Hug took each other on for the lead, but Sean D Bowen pushed on his mount Destinado, who responded to his urges and raced past Molly Valentine, joining Big Bear Hug at the two-furlong pole.

Big Bear Hug rallied and started to battle as Destinado edged left, but Destinado was able to keep on and win convincingly by three and a quarter lengths for trainer James Owen and his owners, Deva Racing Group.

After two rounds, the winning riders both managed a sixth place in the corresponding race, meaning that Joe Leavy and Sean D Bowen are tied at the top of the table on 19 points each.

The next race in the series takes place at Ripon on Thursday 18th April.  Buy tickets here.