Day 2 of the May Festival saw the return of Boodles Ladies Day to Chester Racecourse. An ever-popular fixture in Chester’s racing calendar, Boodles Ladies Day provided a very classy racecard for the crowd to enjoy with the feature races coming at 2:40pm with the HomeServe Dee Stakes (Listed) and 3:10pm with the tote.co.uk Proud To Support Chester Racecourse Ormonde Stakes (Group 3). With the sun shining on the Good to Soft ground, the stage was set for the Best Dressed competitions, and yet another day full of impressive winners, close finishes, and record breakers.
Race 1 – ICM Stellar Sports Handicap Stakes (Class 2, 4yo+, 5f)
Seven runners took part in the opening race of Boodles Ladies Day and no less than five of them were previous course winners! Course experience proved key to the winning formula as Look Out Louis ran out a popular winner as the SP Favourite at odds of 2/1, from Count D’Orsay in 2nd and Night On Earth back in 3rd place. Another previous Roodee winner Militia was fast out of the stalls and went straight to the lead with Look Out Louis tracking him in behind. As the field blasted round the home turn, Look Out Louis flew to the lead under Jason Hart and the pair only looked in danger when Count D’Orsay forced his way through the field from the rear to go down fighting by just a head at the finish line, with Benoit De La Sayette’s mount Night On Earth a further 1 ½ lengths back. This win provided yet another success at Chester for trainer Julie Camacho, who has trained very smart sprinter Judicial to win 4 races from 5 starts on the Roodee so far. Congratulations, Julie!
Race 2 – Deepbridge Handicap Stakes (Class 2, 3yo, 7½f)
A rather familiar story continued to develop in Race 2 as Ryan Moore claimed his 4th victory of the Festival aboard talented 3-year-old Outgate, who triumphed as the 9/4 SP Fav by 1 length. Towards the head of affairs throughout much of the race, Moore kept Outgate tight to the running rail until switching to the right to lead over 1f from home, staying-on to supress the late challenge of Koy Koy under David Probert, and My Little Tip under William Buick. With some further exciting rides to come on Day 2, Ryan Moore was off to another flyer, and provided dual trainers Daniel & Claire Kubler with another winner, having achieved 18 winners in their first year under a joint-training license in 2021. Everybody at Chester wishes Daniel & Claire the best of luck for the 2022 season!
Race 3 – HomeServe Dee Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1, 3yo, 1m 2½f)
The Ryan Moore/Aidan O’Brien train was back in business in Race 3 as the well-punted 6/4 SP Fav Star Of India proved a tough nut to crack when clearing away to win Chester’s second Derby Trial by 2 ¼ lengths. The pace was set throughout the race by Hugo Palmer’s representative Mr McCann (owned by football stars Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, and James Milner) until Ryan Moore kicked for home over 1f out aboard Star Of India. Late charges from Cresta and Sonny Liston provided Star Of India with something to think about in the final furlong, but neither challenge came to fruition and the SP Fav won cosily. With yet another Roodee success in the bag, Star Of India had now provided Aidan O’Brien with his 9th win in the Dee Stakes, and Ryan Moore with his 5th; the team also teamed up to win the race with Circus Maximus in 2019, who then went on to Group 1 success at Royal Ascot and Longchamp.
Race 4 – tote.co.uk Proud To Support Chester Racecourse Ormonde Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1, 4yo+, 1m 5½f)
Previous Group class winners came to the fore in this year’s Ormonde Stakes as former Group 3 winner Hamish stayed on strongly in the final furlong to hold off the challenge of the plucky former Group 2 winner Thunderous by ¾ of a length at odds of 9/2. Racing keenly, Thunderous broke well to lead the field, ahead of Hamish and Albaflora (the 10/11 SP Fav) who raced prominently in the vanguard. Rounding the home turn, Tom Marquand made his move aboard Hamish, leaving the outpaced Alounak in his wake. A furlong from the line, Albaflora weakened, leaving Hamish to surge down the centre of the track alongside the brave leader Thunderous, who lost nothing in eventual defeat. Fresh from a career best tally of winners in 2021, both Tom Marquand and trainer William Haggas look to have yet another promising Group class performer to go to war with this season, having had plenty of success teaming up with classy 4-time Group 1 winner Addeybb over the years.
Race 5 – Boodles Raindance Handicap Stakes (Class 3, 4yo+, 1m 2½f)
Front-running once again proved the key to success on the Roodee in Race 5 as Silvestre De Sousa’s mount Pride Of America powered to victory by a stylish 5 ½ lengths at odds of 3/1. A central draw in Stall 7 proved to be no hinderance for Pride Of America, who quickly darted to the rail ahead of two previous course winners in Restorer and Aasheq. Seizing the opportunity to steal first run on the field, De Sousa turned up the tempo aboard Pride Of America over 2f from home, sending his mount even further clear of the chasing pack. Having never been challenged, 5-year-old gelding rapidly put distance between himself and his rivals, with late runs from Desert Emperor and Enigmatic to fill the places proving no match for the winner, and the 5/2 SP Fav Pride Of Priory well beaten in 11th place. Winning trainer Amy Murphy holds a dual-purpose training license and is certainly making a name for herself on the flat, having had Grade 1 success over jumps in 2019 with the smart Kalashnikov.
Race 6 – British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes (Class 2, 2yo, 5f)
Another race, another front-running masterclass! Race 6 of Boodles Ladies Day saw a very game performance from the David Evans trained Democracy Dilemma, who won at odds of 11/2, having led from pillar to post under George Downing and keeping on strongly in the final furlong to see off Self Praise and James Doyle by 3 ¾ lengths. Racing keenly throughout, Democracy Dilemma was dominant from the front with Blatant, Explicit, and Self Praise in directly behind for much of the contest. Shortly before the turn into the straight, Downing said ‘go’ aboard the leader, and kicked for home with an impressive turn of foot to go clear over a furlong from the finish. Of the placed horses, Self Praise stayed on notably well down the centre of the track for 2nd place, having jinked out of the stalls and racing wide throughout. This win provided winning trainer David Evans with another exciting young sprinter for the future having had big race successes with swift operator Rohaan in 2021 in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock and the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot.
Race 7 – Roofing Consultants Group Handicap Stakes (Class 3, 3yo, 1m 4½f)
The dream team of Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien struck for yet another win on the Roodee when 3-year-old colt Temple Of Artemis held on by a ½ a length as the 9/4 SP Fav in Race 7. Prominent for much of the race, Moore’s mount sat behind the leader Trojan Horse alongside fellow youngsters Abbado and Hoffman. As the tempo began to increase and Franny Norton’s Trojan Horse began to steadily weaken, Ryan Moore weaved Temple Of Artemis through the gaps to lead heading towards the final furlong. Attempting to throw a spanner in the works, George Boughey’s Mr Alan mounted a very strong late challenge in the final 100 yards under Rossa Ryan but could never quite reach the eventual winner. Not only a treble on the day, this win also provided Moore with his 6th victory of the Festival and Aidan O’Brien with his 4th (from 4 runners)! Could the week possibly get any better?!
Race report by Adam Perkins
Tote.co.uk Proud to Support Chester Racecourse Ormonde Stakes (Group 3, 4yo+)
Distance: 1m 5f 84y | Prize: £111,000
The British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes (Class 2, 2yo)
Distance: 5f 15y | Prize: £26,122