Declan Carroll expressed deep pride after he saddled Musharrif to victory in the Jaimie Kerr Memorial Handicap at Beverley on Monday evening.
Carroll was good friends with Jaimie Kerr, the former assistant and partner of Malton trainer Tony Coyle who died two years ago. The five-furlong handicap has been held in memory of Jaimie for the last two years and was this season won in some style by the Carroll-trained Musharrif, who was ridden by 5lb claimer Phil Dennis. Sent off a 12-1 chance from stall 13, the five-year-old gelding came fast and late to account for Astrophysics by two and a quarter lengths.
Malton-based Carroll said: “This means a lot. Jaimie was a very good friend of mine and this is a really nice way to remember her. We miss her every day and I’m sure she won’t begrudge us winning her race.” Of Musharrif, Carroll added: “He hadn’t raced for quite a while but he’s won here before and clearly likes the place. Phil is riding really well and gave him a great ride.”
Special Purpose could be on the verge of big things after she preserved her unbeaten record in the Carnival Night Fillies' Novice Stakes. William Haggas’ youngster, who holds an entry in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York next month, won on her debut at Lingfield and made short shrift of a penalty to strike by three and a quarter lengths from Gold Stone.
Kevin Darley, northern representative for her owners, Qatar Racing, said of the 4-9 favourite: “She’s a nice little filly. There’s not a lot of her, but she’s all there. William has always said that she was a precious filly from the off, but she had to show her true mettle there. It looked like the further she went, the better she was, so that might open up a few more options later in the year. We’ll have to see what William says but she wouldn’t look out of place (in the Lowther).”