Karl Burke’s Poptronic (8/1) picked up well in the final furlong to defeat Rogue Millennium and take the Group Three Hoppings Fillies’ Stakes at Newcastle.
It was two three-year-old fillies who would fight out the finish on the Gosforth Park sand, with the former staying on best of all under Sam James for victory by just under a length at the line.
Andrew Balding’s Auria made it a good test under Paul Hanagan, but started to fade with three furlongs to run as Rogue Millennium and Jack Mitchell hit the front.
The latter duo were possibly travelling a shade better than the eventual winner at the two-furlong pole, but couldn’t hold off her rival who has now won three of her four starts.
William Knight’s five-year-old Pearl Beach put in arguably a career-best to stay on well for third at the line under Ben Curtis.
The delighted winning rider Sam James thanked trainer Karl Burke for putting faith in him, saying: “The last time I worked her at home over six furlongs, she showed me a lot of speed and I was very happy with her.
“I really appreciate Karl for giving me these opportunities. It means a lot.
“It’s all about getting on these kind of horses. There’s lots of lads in the weighing room that can ride and can easily ride in these races.
“They’re not different to riding in any other races, it’s just better horses.”
City Walk cruises to Gosforth Park glory
A competitive Gosforth Park Cup Handicap was blown apart by City Walk (3/1f) who bounced right back to his best with an easy victory for Derby-winning rider Richard Kingscote and Saeed bin Suroor.
Copper Knight took them along early but looked in trouble with two furlongs to run as veteran sprinter Dakota Gold hit the front for Connor Beasley.
But no sooner had he hit the front, the Godolphin five-year-old took the eye travelling smoothly under Kingscote, who nudged the winner out on the far side to go away and win by just under two lengths at the line.
Dakota Gold (Michael Dods) hung on for second, with Makanah a further head back in third for Paul Hanagan and the Julie Camacho team.
Speaking to Sky Sports Racing after the race, Kingscote said: “I was asked to be a bit closer but I got a bit squeezed out the gate so I didn’t rush him and he got into a nice rhythm and was nice and relaxed over the five [furlongs].
“He was relaxed all day today – they said sometimes he can get a bit worked up but it’s done him well today really.
“Coming back to five has done him good. He got a nice tow off a few and when he came between them he picked up nicely.”