Although the wind and the rain made conditions testing on the officially Soft ground, there was still plenty of good quality racing on offer during the Camden Town Brewery Ladies & Gents Evening at Chester Racecourse. The feature race of the evening came at 7:30pm in the Expleo Handicap (Class 3) in which 4 previous course winners went head-to-head in a competitive affair.


Race 1 – Camden Town Brewery Handicap (Class 4, 3yo+, 7 ½f)

An enthralling finish to the first race fell the way of Spioradalta (9/2), the Mark Walford-trained gelding edging a short-head in front of Mabre (22/1) at the line to record a game victory under Jack Garritty. Rousted along from the outset to get into a prominent position, Spioradalta eventually settled well in midfield alongside recent course winner Pearly Star (9/1), with the field being taken along by How Impressive (18/1), Legal Reform (13/2) and Star Player (9/4F). As the pace went up a notch around the home turn, Legal Reform took aim and swept into the lead with a couple of furlongs to race, Spioradalta now angled to make a run around the outside of Star Player as How Impressive weakened out of contention. After a coming together between the tying-up Legal Reform and the staying-on Star Player left the latter unable to sustain his effort, Spioradalta took over at the head of affairs. Although challenged by Devasboy (12/1) and Mabre down the stands rail with less than a furlong to race, Spioradalta stuck to his task well out in front and eventually held on by a narrow margin to claim a third victory under rules. A trainer usually known for his jumps horses, Walford also claimed the valuable Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase last year with Into Overdrive!


Race 2 – Edwards Homes EBF Restricted Novice Stakes (GBB/IRE Incentive Race) (Class 4, 2yo, 6f)

Fresh from riding a couple of recent winners on the Roodee, Hayley Turner once again crossed the finish line in front, this time aboard Hugo Palmer-trained novice Golden Trick (4/1), the 2-year-old colt coming home 1 ¼ lengths to the good ahead of recent Roodee winner Innvincible Friend (11/4). Slow out of the starting stalls, Golden Trick raced mainly along the rail towards the rear of the field throughout the six-furlong contest, the leader Conde (20/1) in company with Equity Law (5/6F) for the most part ahead of Innvincible Friend on the outside of runners. As the field began to thin out from the two-furlong marker, Equity Law took control of the lead in the home straight, with Conde trying his level best to fight back as Innvincible Friend and Golden Trick came under firm pressure from their riders. However, now in the clear and staying-on well for pressure, Golden Trick quickly reeled in the leaders with a furlong to go, darting up the far rail into an uncontested lead and swiftly settling the race in a matter of strides, the 2-year-old striding on impressively ahead of Innvincible Friend in second and Conde in third. Having already claimed Listed level success with smart mare Maria Branwell, winning owners of the Bronte Collection 1 group look to have another smart one!


Race 3 – Aaron & Partners Nursery Handicap (Class 4, 2yo, 7f)

With two well clear of the remainder in the home straight, an all-the-way battle between recent course winner Pretence (11/2) and Gray’s Inn (8/11F) went the way of the latter, with Thore Hammer Hansen doing the steering for Jack Channon to secure a ½ length victory in a gripping finish. With just four other rivals to contend with throughout, Gray’s Inn raced prominently against the inside rail alongside Pretence for the most part, the pair sitting behind leaders Persian Phoenix (4/1) and Fast Love (12/1), with Havanarama (17/2) always on the back foot in last place. As the leaders began to fall away in the stamina-sapping conditions around the home turn, Pretence swept into the lead around the outside of runners, closely pursued by Gray’s Inn who maintained his position on the inside rail to challenge the new leader with the furlong marker now in sight. Kicking away from the final trio, Pretence and Gray’s Inn locked horns in a ding-dong battle down the straight, neither willing to give anything away. However, finding a little extra for pressure after the half-furlong pole, Gray’s Inn edged into a narrow but ultimately decisive lead, running on gamely to settle the race in the shadows of the post. A jockey enjoying a productive summer, Hansen has also scooped Group 2 and Group 3 honours in Germany over the last couple of weeks: many congratulations, Thore!


Race 4 – Expleo Handicap (Class 3, 3yo+, 1m 3 ½f)

Showing a marked upturn in form after a moderate sixth at Carlisle 16 days prior, Dream Harder (11/2) ran on strongly in the final furlong to claim the feature race by 2 ½ lengths under Sean D Bowen, bringing back the winners’ prize for Roodee-regular Ian Williams. Always prominent throughout the contest, Dream Harder travelled smoothly on the outside of runners, sandwiching multiple course winner Box To Box (4/1) between himself and early leader Demilion (9/1) through the first circuit, with Baryshnikov (3/1F) bringing up the rear. On the bridle and still galloping on strongly, Dream Harder looked to be in a different league of comfort to his rivals rounding the final bend, Bowen merely having to nudge his mount along to take the lead as the opposition faded away. With Box To Box now unable to offer a stern challenge having possibly not been suited by the softer conditions, Dream Harder ran on strongly under a more firm ride from Bowen in the final furlong and eventually ran out a very cosy winner of the feature; Mr Curiosity (18/1) caught the eye to finish third. With this victory, Bowen officially has his first ever Roodee winner: congratulations, Sean!


Race 5 – Excell Supply Handicap (Class 4, 4yo+, 5 ½f)

Having racked up several placed efforts at the track in previous seasons, Count D’Orsay (9/2) finally had his big day on the Roodee in the penultimate race of the evening, holding off track specialist Roman Dragon (5/2F) by a length under Phil Dennis for trainer Tim Easterby. Prominent from flag-fall, Count D’Orsay sat comfortably behind early leaders Bezza’s Lad (11/1) and Huddle Up (4/1) throughout the opening couple of furlongs, with Roman Dragon struggling to maintain his position having been buffeted around in midfield. As the increase in tempo caught many of the field flatfooted, Huddle Up kicked on in the home straight to edge into a slender lead ahead of Count D’Orsay, driven along down the centre of the track to make his challenge. With little challenges coming from behind, Count D’Orsay willingly galloped on strongly in the final furlong to claim a second success in just over two weeks, the 7-year-old always in control under a smart ride from Phil Dennis; Roman Dragon finished well up the inside rail to finish a slightly unlucky second place, with Huddle Up holding on for third. A trainer with more than 90 winners on the books each season since 2018, Easterby recently took Group 3 glory in Ireland with stable star Art Power at the Curragh!


Race 6 – Camden Stout Handicap (Class 5, 3yo+, 7f)

Benefitting from a return to turf having finished down the field in her most recent all-weather starts, Lockdown Lass (9/1) sprung somewhat of a surprise in the final race on the card, keeping on strongly in the closing stages under Laura Pearson to bring home the spoils for trainer Gary Hanmer. Initially held up having been pulling quite hard in the early stages, Lockdown Lass advanced towards third place at the halfway point, sweeping around the outside of runners to sit alongside leader Dodgy Bob (25/1), with Ramiro (100/30 JF) and Purple Martini (15/2) towards the tail of the field. As Dodgy Bob led the field around the turn into the straight, apparently still full of running, the runners in behind looked to be struggling to maintain the pace and were all firmly off the bridle. However, responding well to Pearson’s urgings, Lockdown Lass found a second wind when passing the furlong marker, sneaking her way into a narrow lead with Ramiro breathing also challenging on the near-side. Although a late thrust from both Ramiro and Purple Martini threatened to make life a little more difficult for the new leader, Lockdown Lass kept on pluckily in the closing stages and saw off her rivals in good style to secure her first win in two years. Operating at a 14% strike-rate this season having earned more than £90,000 in prize money, Laura Pearson is in flying form of late!

Race report by Adam Perkins

Skip to the finish

Distance: 7f,127y | Prize: £12,000

Winner Name: Spioradalta (8) Owner: Clayton Civils, S Morrell & Hathaway Trainer: Mark Walford, Sheriff Hutton Jockey: Jack Garritty
Number of runners: 11
(6:20 pm) THE EDWARDS HOMES EBF RESTRICTED NOVICE STAKES (CLASS 4,2yo) (for horses in Bands B, C and D) (EBF Restricted Race Qualifier) (GBB RACE)

Distance: 6f,17y | Prize: £12,000

Winner Name: Golden Trick (7) Owner: Bronte Collection 1 Trainer: Hugo Palmer, Malpas Jockey: Hayley Turner
Number of runners: 7 Number of non-runners: 1

Distance: 7f 1y | Prize: £20,000

Winner Name: Gray's Inn (4) Owner: SYPS (UK) Ltd Trainer: Jack Channon, West Ilsley Jockey: Thore Hammer Hansen
Number of runners: 5 Number of non-runners: 2

Distance: 1m 3f 75y | Prize: £30,000

Winner Name: Dream Harder (5) Owner: Mr Paul Farrell Trainer: Ian Williams, Alvechurch Jockey: Sean Dylan Bowen
Number of runners: 8 Number of non-runners: 2

Distance: 5f 110y | Prize: £12,000

Winner Name: Count D'Orsay Owner: Ambrose Turnbull & John Cruces Trainer: Tim Easterby, Malton Jockey: Phil Dennis
Number of runners: 8

Distance: 7f 1y | Prize: £10,000

Winner Name: Lockdown Lass (13) Owner: Lockdown Racing Trainer: Gary Hanmer, Tattenhall Jockey: Laura Pearson
Number of runners: 11 Number of non-runners: 2
Raceday Schedule



5:45 pm

Distance: 7f,127y | Prize: £12,000

6:20 pm

THE EDWARDS HOMES EBF RESTRICTED NOVICE STAKES (CLASS 4,2yo) (for horses in Bands B, C and D) (EBF Restricted Race Qualifier) (GBB RACE)
Distance: 6f,17y | Prize: £12,000

6:55 pm

Distance: 7f 1y | Prize: £20,000

7:30 pm

Distance: 1m 3f 75y | Prize: £30,000

8:05 pm

Distance: 5f 110y | Prize: £12,000

8:40 pm

Distance: 7f 1y | Prize: £10,000