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Godolphin's first winner on track's Tapeta 'vindicates what we're achieving'

Robert Winston: rode a Southwell double
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Friday: Southwell

Southwell's chief executive Mark Clayton was pleased that the decision to move from a Fibresand surface to attract a higher calibre of horse is beginning to pay dividends after a runner owned by Godolphin won for the first time on the new Tapeta surface.

Godolphin, who did not send a horse to the Nottinghamshire track in 2019 and 2020, saddled a one-two with their first runners of the year at the course in the feature 1m3f novice stakes, with the Robert Winston-ridden New Comedy getting the better of the John and Thady Gosden-trained Rockfire for Charlie Appleby.

"I still give the horsebox park a second take when a Godolphin horsebox turns up," said Clayton. "It's the only time I remember seeing the Godolphin second colours here.

"To see not only Godolphin but other large owners and trainers coming here is fantastic. It does vindicate what we're trying to achieve and are achieving. We're achieving much better field sizes and far more competitive racing. It's a delight to see.

"We didn't expect to see Sheikh Mohammed here, like we didn't expect to see the Queen last week when she had a winner, but it's good to see the colours flying round. It's creating a bit of a stir and it's really positive."

Winston completed a double on Back From Dubai, who had been bought from Godolphin for £7,000 in September 2020 by Keith Nicholls for trainer Roy Bowring. 

Victory in the mile handicap completed a memorable quickfire hat-trick for current connections as the five-year-old was winning at the track for the third time in ten days.

Custard creams rivals

Course specialist Custard The Dragon had finished second on his first two attempts on the Tapeta surface, but made it third time lucky in the 7f handicap as Connor Beasley guided the John Mackie-trained nine-year-old to a ninth career success at the track.

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I still give the horsebox park a second take when a Godolphin horsebox turns up
E.W. Terms