An absolute pleasure to ride, Kimberella is no fossil when landing feature race at MBNA Family Funday for second year running
“He’s a dude, a gent and an absolute pleasure to ride,” was how jockey Paul Hanagan described the 4/1 winner of the feature race at the MBNA Family Funday, the Caldwell Construction Queensferry Stakes, a listed race. “There were excuses for him in his last couple of races. The race just opened up beautifully today and it took time for him to get into top gear. You wouldn’t get a more genuine horse than him,” added Hanagan. The race provided a thrilling finish as the pace-setter Major Jumbo looked to have the race won but drifted wide of the rail allowed Kimberella a clear run and he got up in the final strides by a neck. The winner was successful in this race last year and now has four course wins to his name.
Top weight Quiet Endeavour, ridden by Edward Greatrex, lived up to his name when justifying a starting price of 6/5 favourite and making all to land The Thyme People Nursery Handicap Stakes by three and a half lengths from Jensue. The colt dominated throughout and readily extended his advantage in front of the stands. “He’s a lovely horse and he’s got better with racing. He travelled well and was handy away, he’s got plenty of ability. We might go for the Sales race at The Curragh in September or a valuable nursery with him,” explained successful trainer Archie Watson.
Punters made the correct selection in the MBNA/EBF Novice Stakes when backing The Trader down to 4/6 favourite. The grey duly obliged from stall one to record a four and a half length victory. “He travelled well and when a little gap opened up he went through and picked up. He’s an exciting horse for the future, I’d say,” said winning jockey P.J McDonald. Wild Edric was the pace setter but was relegated to second place when The Trader accelerated through after the final bend to win readily.
Owner Marwan Koukash celebrated a further Chester Racecourse success when Gossip Column, returned at 15/8 made all the running in the ESL Group Handicap Stakes and crossed the winning line one and a half lengths in front of Berkshire Royal who was not able to close on the winner. “If we should ever teach him to settle he’d win the Chester Cup, that’s most important! The one mile six furlong Melrose Cup at York would be his next target, if we get in,” said Koukash.
“That’s my first winner for Richard Hughes. He’s won his last two races and is improving and he’s so quick from the gates, that a big help in a race. I sat behind Mr Hanagan and he was very game and battled away,” explained David Egan the winning jockey in the ChesterBet/EBF Stallions Conditions Stakes. Egan was referring to top-weight Sunsprite, a 3/1 chance. The partnership tracked Gabrial The Wire who was overhauled by Finoah and looked to have landed the race but a late surge from Sunsprite enabled him to win the race by a short head.
The Britvic Handicap Stakes unfolded into an exciting finish in front of 29,360 race goers as the early leader, Club Wexford faded and the winner Kaeso came with a run down the centre of the course for jockey Lewis Edmunds. The lead was eroded with every stride as Mickey challenged from a wider position but had to settle for second by a head. Winning trainer Nigel Tinker said: “There was no option, but I thought he was beat! He’s a lovely horse, a starman.”
Racing drew to a close with the Horseradish Handicap Stakes and a popular one and three quarter length win for Red Force One the 11/4 favourite, ridden by Richard Kingscote. “He’s won, it’s great and I’m thrilled for the owner – I hope it helps in some small way. The shorter trip has helped today and it’s good to have a win after a series of seconds,” explained successful trainer Tom Dascombe.
A full list of all 2019 scheduled fixtures at Chester Racecourse is now available and can be viewed here.