ROSTROPOVICH LIVES UP NAMESAKE WITH A PUBLIC STATEMENT OF ACCLAIM TO WIN THE HOMESERVE DEE STAKES ON BOODLES MAY FESTIVAL LADIES DAY AT CHESTER RACECOURSE
Paddock pick Rostropovich maintained the Roodee record set by maestro trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore as the partnership dominated in the Homeserve Dee Stakes to record a three and three quarter length victory over My Lord And Master. Moore tracked the early leaders and again took advantage of the inside rail configuration to gallop past the opposition and win readily. The winner was sent off the 5/2 favourite and has been shortened in to 16/1 for the Investec Derby next month.
O’Brien said: “He didn’t go beyond seven-furlongs last year and we hoped he would step up. He quickened up well and we’re very happy with him, you couldn’t ask him to do much more really.”
“The Derby trials are all on left-handed tracks and they give us a little bit of time to decide what we want to do. We have to find out where we want them to go and hope they would step forward again. The ground has been so bad in Ireland, everybody is learning and the lads will decide,” added O’Brien.
Sent off the 8/11 favourite, Idaho duly powered home to victory in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes. Ryan Moore followed the same route as earlier in the afternoon having tracked Muntahaa before a clear passage against the rails enabled the winner to accelerate clear of his rivals by three and a half lengths. “He’s had a break since Meydan and Ryan was happy with the way he stayed. There should be no problem going further and he’s mature enough. We might go to the Coronation and King George or we could develop further,” said winning trainer Aidan O’Brien. Leading bookmakers quoted Idaho at 6/1 for the Coronation Cup next month.
Favourite backers made the correct choice when selecting the 11/4 chance A Momentofmadness to win the opening race, the Gateley PLC Handicap. Early leader El Astronaute broke promptly from the stalls to set a fierce pace. William Buick unleashed AMomentofMadness inside the final furlong and drew clear of his rivals by one-length. “That was great; he’s certainly becoming more manageable. The plan was to make the running but they went a good gallop and William waited for the cut in the rail. He used to be one-dimensional, flat out! He’s in the Epsom Dash on Derby Day – that’s where the owners want to be,” explained the successful trainer Charles Hill.
There was an exciting finish to the Abbey Logistics Handicap as early leader Dragons Tail and top weight Another Batt galloped neck and neck to the line. Jockey Silvestre De Sousa encouraged a last surge from Another Batt to win by a neck. “He deserved his chance; he’s been working well at home. I’ve always thought he’d get a mile. He lives in the field and doesn’t take much work. We’ll turn up at the valuable three-year-old handicaps, where the money is and enjoy taking it one race at a time,” was the summary provided by winning trainer George Scott.
The British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes provided Silvestre De Sousa with a double when 15/2 chance Wedding Date come through the field to win. Trainer Richard Hannon said: “She missed the kick but travelled well and has obviously improved. She’s a nice filly with more improvement as she comes in her coat. Royal Ascot has to be on the agenda, she has black type potential.”
“He was slowly away and only came good in the later stages; it was all a bit too sharp for him early on. He was never going to be an early sort and I expect him to improve. There’ll l be opportunities over further for him,” explained trainer Mark Johnston after landing the English Fine Cottons Handicap with 3/1 chance Austrian School by half a length from Berkshire Royal. Jockey P.J. McDonald added: “It took him a while to get into his stride when the only option left was the brave man’s route and he answered every call. He’ll have learnt a lot today round here.”
An exciting afternoon came to a close with the Partner Tech Handicap, the race evolved into a dual between Dark Devil and the winner, by a neck, Fast Dancer sent off at 8/1. Successful jockey Finlay Marsh was recording his 30th career success and said: “I was stuck on the wide outside all the way round. He’s fitter now than last time out and ran well.”
Attendance at the meeting totalled 18,003, representing an increase of 5% on 2017's attendance.
The 2018 Boodles May Festival meeting concludes with the 188Bet Chester Cup Day, tomorrow, Friday, 11 May. Action commences at 1.50pm and closes with a new addition to the race programme, the 188Bet Chester Plate Handicap.