It was a bright mild afternoon for Windsor's second October meeting, the one that saw Richard Hughes's seven wins in a day four years ago. The going was good to firm, good in places.
Paul Mulrennan made a rare foray from his Yorkshire base to ride for a couple of northern stables, but it was Sussex trainer Amanda Perrett who supplied him with a winner. This was in the first race, a 6f maiden for two-year-olds. Open Wide (10/1), held up at the back of the main bunch, found a nice gap opening in front of him two out. He came through it to tackle Rebecca Rocks in the last half furlong and win, going away, by a length.
Jim Crowley extended his unassailable lead in the jockeys' championship by taking the 5f nursery on Broadhaven Honey (7/1) for the Ed McMahon yard. Drawn near the outside, she broke well and made all the running, and though she was never far in front she ran on willingly to score by half a length. Fabric came second, with five of them disputing the minor honours.
Crowley also led all the way in the next race, the first division of the one mile maiden. This was harder work, for he had to get serious on the William Haggas-trained Eljeemi (3/1) in the penultimate furlong, when his main market rival First Voyage threw down a determined challenge. After mastering that one he was able to coast home, two and a quarter lengths to the good.
The second division went to the evens favourite Archery Peak, who defied a two-year absence in a style that suggests further improvement will be forthcoming, bearing in mind his trainer Luca Cumani's ability to bring horses up through the ranks. Adam Kirby tracked the front runners on the rail until switching wide to get a run, taking the lead with a furlong to go. He stayed on strongly to finish three lengths ahead of Poet's Song.
A fillies' handicap over a mile was won by the northern raider Invermere (5/1), trained by Richard Fahey (his 172nd winner of the year) and ridden by one of this year's star apprentices, Adam McNamara. The mare came from midfield to hit the front with a furlong and a half left and just managed to last home, the long-time leader Nicarra rallying against the stands rail to get to within half a length.
Menai (6/1) won the 6f handicap by four lengths. He ran a close second until the two furlong pole, where he moved into the lead and pulled well clear with minimum fuss. He'll have gone into many notebooks, especially that of the handicapper. Steve Drowne rode him for Charles Hills. Equistar led the rest home.
The 1m2f handicap had the unusual condition that horses could only run if they hadn't won for a year. Beardwood (6/1) joined Priors Brook at the head of the field a furlong and a half out, and gradually wore down his opponent for a half length victory. It was another northern winner, this time for Mark Johnston, and it completed a double for Adam Kirby.
The last race of the day was the longest, over 1m4f. With his stamina proven over two miles, Tyrrell went off at a good clip and had all his rivals in trouble at the intersection. From out of the pack came Velvet Revolution (17/2), remorselessly cutting into the lead and edging in front with about 75 yards to go. Tyrrell fought back and only failed to regain the advantage by a nose. The winner was trained by Marco Botti and it was a belated first course success this year for Martin Harley.