It was a case of another good day at the office for top Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien as he notched up a sixth MBNA Chester Vase with Han Holbein on Boodles Ladies Day at Chester Racecourse.
Ryan Moore dictated the race from the front aboard the 7/4 favourite, a son of Montjeu, and his nearest rival Storm The Stars ran into second place, one and three quarter lengths behind the winner.
“Ryan was pleased; the plan was to ride him positively and he’s won on ground like that before. He had a job pulling him up and he’s definitely in the Derby picture.
“We’re very happy; it was text book stuff really. That was definitely a boost,” explained Kevin Buckley, representing the wining connections.
Success in a recognised Investec Derby trail resulted in major bookmakers pricing up Hans Holbein as short as 10/1for the Derby and 14/1 for the St. Leger in September.
Afternoon action began with the IG Handicap Stakes and a smooth success for the 9/4 favourite Collaboration, ridden by David Probert. Elkaayeed was the pace-setter for much of the race before the challengers made a forward move including Collaboration who galloped clear of Tres Coronas by three and three quarter lengths.
Probert explained: “He’s a smart horse and travelled strongly on that ground; he’s done it well.”
“It’s really what we needed, we were thrilled with Windsor and Epsom but he’s gone up 10lbs and it’s just brilliant. The ground was helpful, most horses have a preference and he showed that today.
“David continues to improve and thoroughly deserves success,” said Anna-Lisa Balding, representing her husband Andrew.
Jockey William Buick kept Maverick Wave away from the rail in the early stages of the Betfair Huxley Stakes (for the Tradesman’s Cup) as the race progressed. The winning partnership was headed briefly by the favourite, Cannock Chase and Air Pilot came wide to challenge. Buick had the moves covered and his mount responded to surge forward again and score by half a length.
Buick said: “He got a ride in front and the second horse went past him. We’ve found the key to him, let him go up in front. There should be more to come and he could go further.”