CIRCLE IS MAGIC FOR MARWAN IN UNBELIEVABLE 188BET CHESTER CUP VICTORY ON CONCLUDING DAY OF BOODLES MAY FESTIVAL
“Marwan is unbelievable. It’s all about Chester for him –he loves it! It’s a fantastic result!” said Ian Williams in the winners’ enclosure after landing the 188Bet Chester Cup with Magic Circle to the obvious pleasure of the owner Marwan Koukash. “I can’t actually believe it myself, it’s the Chester Cup!” added Williams.
“I thought he’d have it hard but he ran on so well. Was it the Marwan connection – he’s won the race before – that was the gamble on the horse. I thought he might be in trouble but he got a better position down the back straight,” said a delighted Williams.
The winner, Magic Circle, ridden by Fran Berry came wide and had the pace to pass the early leaders and record a winning margin of six-lengths from Fun Mac. Whilst there are no firm plans for later in the season, the horse is quoted at 16/1 for the Ebor Handicap in August.
Local trainer Tom Dascombe celebrated a success when the evens favourite Kachy powered home by nine-lengths in the LDF Conditions Stakes for jockey Richard Kingscote. “It’s a relief, it was fantastic. On his day, he’s a seriously good horse and Richard is so great at getting a horse out of the gates here. Game over. I wish Chester had a group one race over five furlongs!” said Dascombe. Kachy was drawn in stall eight and had the speed to cross over and race the inside rail before accelerating into an unassailable lead.
The opening race, the Crabbie’s Earl Grosvenor Handicap Stakes provided a thrilling finish with three horses in a line. Phil Dennis brought Baraweez wide and the 7/1 chance responded to overhaul his rivals and win by one and a quarter lengths. “Mr Ellison said to sit in with the first three or four and I had the perfect draw to do that. I had a lovely trip round and he did it well. He hasn’t won for some time but he’s never run a bad race since his last win,” explained Dennis.
Forest Ranger, sent off at 6/1, was the one and a half length winner of the Homeserve Huxley Stakes (Group 2) going round Eminent into straight with a powerful gallop for jockey Tony Hamilton. Winning trainer Richard Fahey said: “It was a good race to watch, I always thought he’d do it. He’s in the Eclipse and that’s where I’d be keen to go. There’s not a lot for him and he’d be carrying a Group 2 penalty now. I’m getting more confidence in the horse and he does pick up. He’s been a big baby and I gave him a tough time last year, so I’ll mind him this year.” The four-year-old is quoted at 14/1 with leading bookmakers for the Eclipse.
“I was amazed by how he kept going,” said owner Marwan Koukash after Richard Kingscote had successfully executed a front running performance aboard his horse Restorer, the 7/2 favourite, to win the Boodles Diamond Handicap by one and three quarter lengths. “We dropped him back in trip and it worked. Richard gave him an excellent ride as we knew he would stay,” added Koukash.
Star Of The East won the YCO Apprentice Handicap for jockey Jane Elliott by a neck. “She’s won two out of two on him now, that’s why I offered her the ride, because she’s won on him before. She had to go hard on him and slightly wide. Jane said he was just running out of steam at the end,” explained winning trainer Mark Johnston.
A new addition to the card, the188BET Chester Plate Handicap concluded the Boodles May Festival and resulted in a win by a neck for 12/1 chance Look My Way ridden by Jason Hart, who said: “The horse’s strength is his gallop, he kept grinding away. I’d have liked to make it more of a gallop but I couldn’t, I was flat out all the way.”
Attendance totalled 24,430, up 10% on 2017. Over the three day Boodles May Festival 57,972 people enjoyed exciting racing at Chester Racecourse, representing a 3% growth overall in attendance.
The next fixture at Chester Racecoure is MBNA Roman Day on Saturday 26 May. Tickets and badges are available to purhcase online here. Alternatively, call the Box Office on 01244 304 600.