Fast and Fabulous Duretto ‘deserves a big day’ as he heads down under as a fresh racehorse following Listed Race success at Chester Racecourse
“He’s been a real star, now he’s heading to Australia for the Melbourne Cup, everyone in the yard loves him and David said he’s still a fresh racehorse,” said Anna-Lisa Balding following a pleasing performance by the 4/5 favourite Duretto, trained by her husband Andrew and ridden by David Probert who both have an excellent strike rate at Chester Racecourse. The field were closely bunched behind the early leader Hochfield, in the Foxy Bingo Fast and Fabulous Chester Stakes and the pace quickened noticeably two furlongs from home. Probert chose to go round the leaders and maintained a straight line to the winning post enabling him to get up by a neck on the line. Probert said: “He’s very smart and deserves a big day.”
Defying top-weight, Oh This Is Us, trained by Richard Hannon, landed the valuable Foxy Bingo Fur-Ever Friends Handicap Stakes by three-quarters of a length. Several horses were in contention as the field entered the straight with four horses in a line across the course after the early pace had been set by Muntadab. Harry Bentley brought the winner, sent off at 11/2, wide to ensure a clear run and land the race. “It was a good performance; I had to take my time from that wide draw. It was a bit tight on the final bend but he quickened up well and he’d never overdo it. The gaps opened up but they weren’t very big, he was brave,” summarised Bentley. The winning performance set a new course record for the race distance.
The MBNA / British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes provided Richard Hannon with a quick double when Mordred, returned at 7/4 was successful by three-quarters of a length. Jockey PJ McDonald said: “It’s the first time I’ve sat on the horse and the pace was steady. He showed a good turn of foot and galloped to the line; he did it well.” Drogon had jumped smartly from the stalls to set the pace but was overhauled by the winner in front of the stands.
“I had a nice run round but I had to pull out to get a clear run, she won well, she’s a classy filly,” explained jockey Tom Eaves as he went to weigh in following success aboard the 3/1 chance Glass Slippers in the Foxy Bingo Fur Her Eyes Only / EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes. Chapelli led the field but was unable to maintain the pace and faded, the winner threaded her way through the leaders and burst through to score by a neck from Light My Fire.
After winning the opener at Wolverhampton aboard Celtic Artisan earlier in the afternoon, jockey Cam Hardie was rewarded with a second win after his journey to Chester Racecourse aboard Bossipop, sent off at 17/2 in the Ideal Recruit Handicap Stakes. The partnership went the shortest way round by running the rail and had sufficient pace to hold the challenge from Reputation to win by a neck. Hardie said: “I had the best draw in the race and I had to make the best use of it. I thought it might be a bit sharp for him because he’s won here over six furlongs.”
Billy Dylan, drawn in stall two, was the pace-setter in the Foxy Bingo One-To-One Handicap Stakes and jockey Conor McGovern maintained the advantage to the line and resurrected the horse’s ability to win around the Roodee, which he had previously achieved in July 2017. Gabrial The Devil was closing with every stride and margin between the first two home had been reduced to a neck as the horses flashed across the line. “Cheek pieces really helped him when he won at Ripon last month and he loves this track,” said McGovern.
The fixture concluded with the Horseradish Handicap Stakes and provided jockey David Probert with a double on the day aboard top weight Master Archer. Probert said: “He’s progressing and he won here earlier on. He’s got a turn of foot and it was nice to be able to use it today!” All the runners were in contention behind the early leader New Society as the race progressed. The winner had the pace to draw clear and score by one and three quarter lengths.
The meeting was attended a crowd which totalled 18,257.
There are two afternoon fixtures on successive days at Chester Racecourse later this month to celebrate the 2018 Autumn Festival. On Friday, 14 September MBNA is the Title Sponsor, followed by 32Red on Saturday, 15 September.
A full list of all 2019 fixtures which will take place at Chester Racecourse is now available and can be viewed online here.