“It means so much to win here at Chester,” said local trainer Tom Dascombe after one of the most popular horses in training, Brown Panther, ridden by Richard Kingscote, trounced his rivals in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes in front of packed stands at Chester Racecourse on final day of the Boodles May Festival.
Local trainer Tom Dascombe said: “He travelled beautifully and Jamie (Spencer) kindly gave us a lovely lead, he missed the break, settled in behind and built it up. He’s an honest horse and you know when he’s right; he’s been buzzing at home.
“The Ascot Gold Cup will suit him. He clearly stays so he’ll get the trip and the ground is irrelevant. There’s a two-mile race at Sandown at the end of the month. If he’s fine that’s where we’ll go next. This horse has kept our name out there.”
Michael Owen, a part owner of the horse added: “Everyone knows our love of the track, it’s our part of the world; he’s very versatile and won here at three.”
Brown Panther was shortened from 10s to 8s for the Ascot Gold Cup next month and from 25s to 20s for the Melbourne Cup in November by Betfair.
Earlier in the afternoon it was business as usual for the Aidan O’Brien team in the Betfair Cash Out Dee Stakes, an Investec Derby Trial. Joseph O’Brien conjured up a late effort from his mount Kingfisher, one of the 11-4 joint favourites, to overhaul Bow Creek and score by one length.
Kevin Buckley, spokesperson for connections said: “He’s a good size, with scope and we’re absolutely delighted with the way he galloped. He’s done well because there was no pace in the race. Joseph was impressed with the way he finished and he’d be better on better ground.
“Century was disappointing. We wanted to come to Chester and see how he is. He didn’t appreciate the ground.”
The Sportingbet.com Earl Grosvenor Handicap was the opener on Boodles City Day and provided trainer Ian Balding with his second success of the meeting when the 2-1 favourite Here Comes When, ridden by Oisin Murphy powered away from his field to score impressively by five lengths.
“He’s got a patient owner because he struck into a joint and he’s been off for a long time. He’s a decent horse on that sort of ground and hopefully we’ll have some fun with him. We’ll go wherever we can get some give in the ground. He’s going the right way, he’s improve and might be group quality,” explained Balding.
Blithe Spirit, ridden by Jason Hart, recorded her third career win at Chester Racecourse when she made all the running to land the Crabbie’s EBF Stallions Handicap by two and three quarter lengths. Trainer Eric Alston said: “She’s all speed, it’s no good trying to hold her up and she’s quick out of the stalls. She was always going to come here;it was a good horse that beat her last time out.”
The Betfair Price Rush Handicap result was a win by 7/1 chance Verse Of Love, ridden by John Egan. Pace-setter Dr Red Eye faded and the winner accelerated clear of the field to score by three and a quarter lengths.
“He was only in the stalls for 10-seconds. He’s never had a good draw in his last three or four runs and he deserved to win today. This is probably the softest ground he’s every run on,” summarised winning trainer Dave Evans.
“Better late than never,” said Tom Dascombe after landing a one, two in the Merseyrail Day Saver Ticket Maiden Fillies’ Stakes with Destiny’s Kitten and Sitting Pritty. Richard Kingscote guided his mount down the centre of the tracks and she accelerated away from her rivals.
“We threw both of them at it, the winner shows nothing at home but she’s got the heart of a lion. It’s another winner at our beloved Chester, so we’re all happy,” added Dascombe.
The LDF Apprentice Handicap Stakes brought the meeting to a close and provided trainer Richard Fahey with a second success at the meeting with Gabrial’s Star. Jockey Ian Brennan cruised into the lead entering the straight and provided owner Marwan Koukash with another addition to his tally of Chester winners.
Attendance on the final day of the Boodles May Festival was 21078. Over the three days a total of 53090 race goers visited Chester Racecourse.