ALTHOUGH he may not be able to match his record breaking year of 2018 during which he sent out 118 winners, Great Habton-based Tim Easterby has his string in flying form at present and he made it 12 winners in 14 days with five winners over the weekend.

Three of them were on Friday with the filly Rux Ruxx leading the charge when overcoming travel difficulties to land the Edgen Murray Handicap at Musselburgh.

The horsebox taking the four Easterby runners to Scotland broke down in Northumberland and it was only thanks to local trainer Rose Dobbin, who lent them her box, that they were able to complete their journey to the Scottish track.

The effort proved worthwhile when Rux Ruxx and David Allan came late to win for the third time this year. Owned by top owners King Power Racing she was formerly trained by Andrew Balding. However, the switch to the north has really paid dividends for after getting off the mark at Carlisle in June, she followed up at Catterick the following month and Friday's win was another convincing success.

As she handles all types of going there will be plenty of further opportunities for her in the closing months of the season.

Curiously she is related that that fine stalwart of northern racing, the Group winner Sovereign Debt who did so well for both David 'Dandy' Nicholls and Ruth Carr, and since his retirement from racing has been a regular around the Yorkshire shows competing in the the popular Racehorse to Riding Horse classes.

Friday was certainly a busy day for racing in the north for besides the meeting at Musselburgh there was also racing at Thirsk and Haydock. Easterby was out of luck at his local track of Thirsk, though his progressive Grimsdyke was a good second in the sprint handicap there, but he fared a great deal better with two winners at Haydocks' evening meeting.

The first was the filly Springwood Drive, who is owned by Lancastrian David Armstrong, and on only her second run in a handicap, landed the Fillies Handicap in the hands of Ryedale-based rider Jimmy Sullivan.

Like most of the Armstrong horses she is a home-bred and is by Mayson, who won the July Cup in the Armstrong colours before being sold to the Cheveley Park Stud for whom he has become a successful sire of sprinters.

A lightly-raced sort who acts well on soft ground Springwood Drive should win another race or two before she is eventually retired to her owner's Highfield Farm Stud, where she will most likely join her owner's Group 1 winning sprinter Mabs Cross who will bid to go one better than last year in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York later this month.

Easterby's second Haydock winner of Friday evening was the stayer Contrebass, who scored the second time in his career when taking the Join Racing TV Now Handicap over two miles, Jason Hart driving him out to score by a length.

Easterby also enjoyed a fine day at Haydock on Saturday with Mikmak and Al Erayg giving him a notable one-two in the £25,000 Vulcan Village Handicap over a mile.

Mikmak hadn't won a race this season, but he's a confirmed soft ground performer so the rain-softened conditions at Haydock on Saturday were ideal for him, and partnered by Malton-based Jack Garritty he came late to beat his stable companion Al Erayg by a neck the two finishing clear of the Brian Ellison-trained First Flight.

Mikmak, who is owned by KJ Racing, was winning just his fourth race, but it was his second decent prize for in 2018 he won the £20,000 Thirsk Summer Cup a race in which he was third to Kylie Rules this year. Bought for 27,000 gns less than two years ago he has now won in excess of £78,000 in prize money.

Afterwards Garritty said: "I knew he had a turn of foot so I rode him to come late, he picked up really well."

Saturday proved a good day for the Malton rider as he also went on to land the five-furlong Watch Racing TV Now Handicap on Somewhere Secret for Cheshire trainer Michael Mullineaux.

Easterby's other Saturday winner was the two-year-old Queens Blade who got off the mark at her seventh attempt when taking Redcar's Best Flat Races Live On Racing TV Selling Stakes in the hands of Duran Fentiman.

ANOTHER Ryedale yard to enjoy a good spell of form in the past fortnight has been that of Richard Fahey, who not only passed a century of winners for the 12th year in succession but also sent out nine winners in 14 days.

Like Tim Easterby, Fahey will struggle to match his best seasonal tally of 235 which he achieved in 2015 but he is still having a fine year.

One horse he really wanted to win with last week was Custodian, who was bought by his owners the Cheveley Park Stud for 260,000 gns as a foal.

The juvenile has a long way to go before he can repay that purchase price, but made a small step in the right direction when on his second start he landed the Jayne-On Course Lady Bookmaker EBF Novice Stakes at Pontefract on Wednesday.

Ridden by Paul Hanagan, he took the £5,175 first prize by three lengths and is one who should go on to better things.

Fahey's most prestigious prize of the week came on Saturday when the filly Flaming Princess went to Deauville and landed the Listed Prix Cavalassur under Cristophe Soumillon.

Owned by the Cool Silk Partnership, she cost £60,000 at the Ascot breeze-up sales earlier this year and is proving quite a bargain for she won on her debut at Nottingham and after two good runs in Group races at Ascot was winning for the second time in four starts.

THE other Ryedale yard enjoying a fine season on the Flat is that of David O'Meara who is now on the 90 winner mark for the year after a good recent run which included Fayez winning a good handicap at Glorious Goodwood.

He also had a good couple of days last weekend beginning with Three Saints Bay, who took the feature British EBF Conditions Stakes at Thirsk on Friday under a canny ride from David Nolan. Allowed his own way up front the four-year-old made all the running and scored in good style from the favourite Dan's Dream to score at 9-1 having been backed in from 12-1.

The most impressive O'Meara winner was on Saturday when Sporiad, also ridden by Nolan, landed the Join Racing TV Handicap at Redcar by five lengths.

Formerly trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld, the winner was winning for the second time for the O'Meara yard and had clearly benefited from a recent wind operation.

Later in the afternoon Betsey Trotter gave her trainer his 90th success of the year in the Market Cross Jewellers Handicap when completing a hat-trick of wins in the hands of the capable apprentice Harrison Shaw.

ONE sad note is the injury to Harriet Bethell who now trains near Beverley but spent many years in Malton working for Brian Ellison. She had a bad fall when riding out at home and is currently in an induced coma in Hull Royal Infirmary.