Vivid Diamond is a little bit snappy for Franny at SportPesa Ladies Day

Five lengths was the winning margin recorded by Vivid Diamond, sent off at 7/1, in the feature race at Ladies Day, the Sportpesa Chester Stakes.  On board was Chester Racecourse specialist, jockey Franny Norton.  Four horses were in a line as the field entered the final straight and the winner accelerated clear in a matter of strides as runners came close together.  “She was a little bit snappy early on and I tried to get her back on the bridle and back off, but she was keen.  The ground and trip were both a plus for her,” explained Norton.

Action commenced with the MBNA/British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes covering seven furlongs and the field were closely bunched throughout before the winner, Berkshire Rocco, pulled clear to score by one length from Breathalyze and justified being sent of the 2/1 favourite.  “I’m very impressed, because you never know how a horse will handle the track, he’s professional and experienced, we got the run of the race.  He accelerated nicely and wanted to find the line.  The horses come forward with each run and he’s doing everything right,” said winning jockey Rob Hornby.

The Sportpesa Handicap Stakes provided an exciting finish as Alemaratalyoum went for home entering the straight and looked to have the race won.  A sweeping run from the 5/2 favourite Oh This Is Us was timely as the topweight swept into the lead to record a half length victory.  Winning jockey Andrea Atzeni explained: “He’s a horse that likes to come off the pace, he’s very straightforward.  I sat at the back early- on, the pace wasn’t that strong.  On his day he’s a good horse and he was picking up, but I wasn’t sure until I got to the line.”

“We knew she’d run well; she’s been working well at home.  They jumped  and went hard, I always felt I would get there but I didn’t want to give her too hard a race first time out,” was the summary provided by winning jockey Tony Hamilton after 12/1 chance Al Rasmah pricked her ears in front of the stands and landed the Sportpesa/EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes by one length from Know No Limits.

A photo finish was required to confirm that Powerallied, ridden by Barry McHugh and sent off at 20/1, had got up on the line to win the ESL Group Handicap by a nose from Bossipop who had pulled clear from his rivals in the closing stages.  Owner Marwan Koukash said: “He was the outsider but he’s a Chester specialist.  It was a nervous time waiting for the photograph and it’s good to get a winner at Chester Racecourse.”

Fairy Stories and Wild Edric fought out the finish of the 1539 Handicap in front of the packed stands and the weight difference of over a stone was sufficient to enable the 3/1 favourite, Fairy Stories to win by a head.  “Franny had got a nice run on the inside and I thought he might have got it, but to be fair she got there and did it well,” said winning jockey Sean Davis.

“He loves it round here; he was taken on at Brighton and got bumped.  We had to sit and take the lead, he wasn’t hassled and got into a rhythm.  He needs things to go his own way but he’s very game and he stays,” was the summary provided by trainer Ed de Giles after landing the MKM Building Supplies (Chester) Handicap.  The winner, Overhaugh Street, was sent off at 16/1 and ridden by Shane Gray.  The partnership led for much of the race and held a prolonged challenge from So Near So Farhh by a neck on the line.

All the 2020 fixtures at Chester Racecourse are now available for advance planning. Click here for more information and to view the 2020 dates. Racing was enjoyed today by a crowd of 18,508 and will return to the Roodee when the two-day Autumn Festival on Friday and Saturday 13 and 14 September 2019 takes place. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets online