Ladies Day

Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 11:30
Raceday Report

O’Brien Circus performs successfully in Homeserve Dee Stakes on Ladies Day

It was a one two in the Homeserve Dee Stakes for the all-conquering Aiden O’Brien yard at Chester Racecourse this afternoon when punters made the correct choice in backing Circus Maximus down to 5/4 favourite and he duly usurped his stable companion, Mohahawk who was the runner-up. 

“We’re delighted, he’s a lovely laid-back horse and we kept these two back from the Guineas to run them here.   He might have preferred a little bit longer in an ideal world,” said O’Brien.  Jockey Ryan Moore kept the winner in a prominent position and had a lead from Allmankind before going on as the field came insight of the winning post to record a one and a quarter length victory.

Ladies Day began with Gateley plc Handicap and Copper Knight setting the pace with multiple course winner Confessional racing alongside. The leader maintained his gallop but was overhauled approaching the line by 22/1 outsider Merhoob who won by one length.

“He travelled really well and has good all-weather form, but he handled the soft ground.  He’s straightforward and I got a gap, the race worked out well.  Once I got out in the straight, I was always going to win,” explained winning jockey Liam Keniry.

Lincoln Park, returned the 7/2 favourite and ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, made all to land the Deepbridge Capital Handicap by one length, with Spirit Warning in second place.  “The plan was to jump and go, the ground was perfect and he had a good draw.  Our concern was whether he would handle the track.  He got a bit tired but he’s gutsy and a mile is his limit, the plan was to come here,” explained Craig Buckingham one of the joint owners.

The field of six became strung out in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes as the early leaders lost their positions and the 3/1 chance Moranda provided jockey Silvestre De Sousa with a quick double.   The winner accelerated clear by eight lengths and the 4/5 favourite Kew Gardens kept on to finish second with the 2018 Chester Cup winner back in third place. The jockey said: “The horses are running in top form; he enjoyed the ground and trip.”  Successful trainer Andrew Balding added: “I’m very pleased.  I hoped he’d run well because of the conditions.  He’s a smashing horse and deserves this, the key to him is the ground.  He’s entered in the Hardwicke but it’s unlikely the ground will be soft.”

Trainer David O’Meara and jockey Daniel Tudhope were back in the winners’ enclosure following the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race) and recorded their third success of the meeting.  Sent off the 11/4 favourite Full Authority make most of the running and left the opposition toiling by six-lengths. “His work at home has been great and he had a good draw.  Quicker ground wouldn’t inconvenience him.  The field were well strung out today and he should stay six furlongs,” said O’Meara.

As the rain continued, once again the field became strung out in the TMT Group Handicap and the early pace was set by Smoki Smoka before he faded.  Harry Bentley made steady headway aboard the 9/4 favourite Sam Cooke and galloped home alone by two and a half lengths.  “I’m very pleased, he’s still quite green.   Stating the obvious, conditions are tough out there and it was a muddling pace.  My lad kept going, he handled it.  He stayed every yard and took such a grip that I couldn’t take one pair of goggles off during the race,” explained Bentley, who also rode a winner for trainer Ralph Becket yesterday.  

The Partner Tech Handicap concluded the day’s action which was enjoyed by a crowd totalling 18006.  Mr Top Hat was he 16/1 winner by one and three quarters of a length.  Harry Bentley was celebrating a double on the days, he said: “He’s been a consistent performer but playing second fiddle.  He’s done it well today.  I was happy to stay wide and slowly get my position.  He was very relaxed and it came good.”  

The Boodles May Festival concludes tomorrow, Friday, 10 May 2019 and features the historic Sportpesa Chester Cup.

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