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Apprentice Hannah Fraser enjoys 'best feeling ever' after posting first winner

Hannah Fraser is all smiles after gaining her first victory in the saddle
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Riding your first winner is a special occasion for any jockey, but Hannah Fraser's maiden success on Sky Bright held extra meaning for the Liverpudlian apprentice.

Based with Lambourn trainer Ed Walker, the 19-year-old returned close to home to get the all-important winner on her 11th ride in the 1m2½f apprentice handicap.

"It was the best feeling ever when I came past in front," Fraser said. "It's so good to do it close to home as all the family are here. It was also good to have a winner for the boss."

Fraser grew up near Huyton and learned to ride at Gellings Riding School under the guidance of Keith Hackett, who has since set up inner-city riding school Park Palace Ponies.

She started working for Walker three years ago and is inspired by the record-breaking achievements of Hollie Doyle.

"The boss has been great to me since I started and hopefully that can get the ball rolling now," Fraser added. 

"Hollie is a great role model for me. She's also very petite but she's got so strong and is a great rider."

Hannah Fraser records her first success as Sky Bright wins the apprentice handicap

The race was the last of six in Haydock's apprentice training series, with Erika Parkinson taking the overall prize having won the first two contests. 

Parkinson, who is based with Mick Appleby, collected a £1,000 prize to use towards her career development.

Kimngrace delights owners

Kimngrace, named after daughters of owners Peter Cook and Austin Whelan, made up for her recent neck defeat to get off the mark in the 6f fillies' maiden.

The Richard Hughes-trained filly won a shade cosily under David Probert to the delight of Maidenhead-based Cook, who has owned horses since 1979.

"That was great as she got mugged on the line at Lingfield," he said. "She's a very nice filly and I'm sure there's more to come from her." 

Probert added of the 10-11 favourite: "We were expecting her to do that. She was tried in Listed company but wasn't ready for it. I didn't think she wanted the ground this fast, but she's gone well on it."

Korker heads Burke one-two

Karl Burke saddled the first two home in the 5f nursery as Korker denied Come Quick, but the finishing order could easily have been the other way round.

While Korker enjoyed a charmed run under Clifford Lee, Come Quick met trouble-in-running – and not for the first time.    

Karl Burke: saddled a one-two in the sprint nursery

"Come Quick didn't get a clear run and was probably a little bit unlucky, although Korker is a high-class horse and probably hit the front early enough as he doesn't do a lot," said Burke. 

"It's a shame one of them had to get beat and it's frustrating for Come Quick's owners as he's been unlucky a few times."

Crooks honoured 

Maurice Crooks, the track's former long-serving head groundsman, returned as guest of the executive and presented the prizes following the apprentice handicap.

Barnes retired 18 months ago after a remarkable 49 years of service at the course.

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It's so good to do it close to home as all the family are here and also to have a winner for the boss
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