Loughnane stars as Doddie’s Impact bags Brocklesby

Horse Racing

Robyn Brisland’s youngster is popular winner of Flat season curtain-raiser

Billy Loughnane has carried all before him on the all-weather circuit this winter and showed he is just as effective on turf by winning the first race of the new season on Doddie’s Impact at Doncaster.

The Pertemps Network EBF Brocklesby Stakes is the traditional curtain-raiser on Town Moor and attracted a field of 16 unraced juveniles, with EURO 250,000 purchase Valadero the 3-1 market leader for last year’s winning owners Amo Racing.

Favourite backers looked sure to collect when Kevin Stott grabbed the initiative with two furlongs to run, but he understandably showed signs of greenness close home, allowing Doddie’s Impact a chance.

Trained by Robyn Brisland, the son of Pearl Secret is named in honour of the late Scottish Rugby Union legend Doddie Weir, with a percentage of prize money won going to MND charities, the disease which cruelly cut short Weir’s life.

Showing the tenacity his namesake was famous for, Doddie’s Impact (10-1) stuck to his task gamely to win by a neck.

Loughnane said: “It’s class. Mr Brisland had him in good shape. I’d been in during the week to have a sit on him and I thought he’d go close.

“I think he had a tough opponent today, but he knuckled down well and he wanted to win.

“I was riding without my claim in that race so it was brave of Mr Brisland to put me up.”

Doddie's Impact (left) gets up to win the Brocklesby at Doncaster
Doddie’s Impact (left) gets up to win the Brocklesby at Doncaster (Nigel French/PA)

Mike Hocking, of Cross Channel Racing who part-own the winner, said: “We’re trying to raise money for the charity and what a story.

“It’s all about raising money and awareness for MND to try and find a cure.

“We are donating 50 per cent of the prize money to the charity and we have nine other yearlings so anyone can get involved. I can’t tell you if this is the best one though!”

Brisland, meanwhile, has loftier in targets in mind for Doddie’s Impact, saying: “It’s an amazing story and fingers crossed they can have a lot of luck.

“We can starting dusting off our top hats and go to Royal Ascot now.”

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