Progressive Types Occupy the Winners’ Enclosure at the Chester Racecourse Matthew Clark Summer Festival
Bathed in sunshine, the Matthew Clark Summer Festival commenced with the Beefeater Pink Confined Novice Stakes and Kevin Frost set the pace aboard top weight Documenting who looked to have the race won with the other runners strung out behind. David Probert aboard the 2/1 chance Urban Aspect was gradually closing on the leader and galloped clear to win the prize by one and a quarter lengths. “There’s a lot of stamina on the dam’s side and he picked up nicely for me. He’s a progressive type and should be able to go on from today,” said Probert.
The Schweppes 1783 Tonic Water Handicap Stakes provided the 13/8 favourite with an impressive fourth victory in succession. Early leader Formidable Kitt was unable to maintain the pace as the runners spread out entering the straight. Powerallied came through on the inside rail while Kevin Stott chose a wider route and Tanasoq had the pace to accelerate clear and record a winning margin of one and a quarter lengths. Winning jockey Kevin Stott commented: “He ran well in the Dash at Epsom and he loves the fast ground, they went quick today. To win carrying 9st 12lbs against other good horses today shows have much he’s improving.”
Gangland remained on the inside rail to complete his run in the Matthew Clark Handicap Stakes whilst the remainder of the field took a wider route. Viscount Loftus crossed the winning line in front having drifted wide and the stewards held an enquiry into possible interference. The placings were amended and the race was awarded to the aptly named Crossing The Line and provided jockey David Probert with a second win of the afternoon.
Catch me if you can was the message Gabrial The Wire transmitted to his rivals in the Pimms Novice Stakes as he surged clear for jockey Jack Garrity to score unopposed by four and half lengths from Socru and justify a starting price of 10/11 favourite. A delighted owner, Marwan Koukash said: “I was worried dropping back from six-furlongs to five-furlongs, obviously but his course experience helped. He ran better than a good horse today. We’ll see what there is for him in a couple of weeks and bring him back here.”
“He’s a very honest little horse and he’s done nothing but improve since stepping up in distance. We might look at a better class race now for him,” explained Chris Fairhurst, who trained the 4/1 chance Benadalid to land the Woodford Reserve Handicap Stakes by three quarters of a length. Jockey Michael Stainton brought the horse through the early leaders and had a clear route to the post.
Computable, sent off at 12/1, won the Jim Beam Handicap Stakes in decisive fashion for jockey Rachel Richardson by three and three quarter lengths. “I got out at the right time and he did it convincingly,” said Richardson. Top weight Harry Hurricane was the pace-setter before losing his prominence with Liberatum and Merry Banter occupying the minor placings.
“It’s been a frustrating meeting,” said jockey Richard Kingscote after landing the concluding race, the Laurent Perrier Handicap Stakes aboard the 15/8 favourite Master Archer, “but this horse saw it out well,” he added. Early leader Stormin Tom could only finish third as the winner stayed on and opened up a margin of one and a quarter lengths over the second horse home, On Fire.
A crowd of 21,191 enjoyed a summer afternoon of racing on the Roodee and the next fixtures of the 2018 Chester Racecourse season take place over two days, Friday, 13 July is the Mr Green Ladies and Gents Evening followed by Signature Living City Plate Day on Saturday, 14 July. To purchase tickets and badges, click here.