Locally trained Roudee ploughed his way home with a brave performance to land the Crabbie’s EBF Stallions Handicap Stakes by one and a quarter lengths at Chester this afternoon. Three horses were in a line as the field straightened for home and Rita’s Boy was closing the gap on the Hayley Turner ridden Roudee, a 6/1 chance but Roudee maintained his winning gallop to pass the post in front.
Trainer Tom Dascombe said: “I thought he was a good thing yesterday, but he missed the break. I’ve been looking for excuses not to run him all morning but the owners, they’re just crazy for Chester and they are such fabulous fun and he’s been in electric form at home and he’s come back today and won, that’s good enough, isn’t it?”
Taking what winning jockey Jack Garritty described as “a less churned part of the course” proved advantageous in the prevailing soft conditions to land the Love2Shop Handicap Stakes. The pace-maker Chosen Character faded inside the final furlong and Instant Attraction, sent off at 9/1 gradually pulled clear to record a three quarters of a length victory.
Neutron Bomb jumped away smartly and headed in the field as the LDF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes progressed but she was overhauled by Rivers of Babylon and the winner, who came wide, Vibe Queen.
“I didn’t want to drop her in because the ground on the inside has got chewed up during the last couple of races. She handled the ground today; she’s out of a Sadler’s Wells mare so we thought she would.
“She was a bit green in front, but she’s never been in front before and she pricked her ears so I kept her up to it, explained successful jockey Robert Havlin.
The Betway Apprentice Handicap Stakes brought the festival meeting to a close and provided favourite backers with a winner. Storm Force Ten, ridden by 16-year-old Edward Greatrex, made almost all the running and had the field well spread out to score by two and three quarter lengths. Representing her husband, Andrew, Anna-Lisa Balding said: “We’re thrilled, Eddie gave him a terrific ride, he wound the race up at the right time.”
The final day of the Boodles May Festival was attended by an enthusiastic crowd of 21,927, a 4% increase on the same day last year. Over 54,000 race-goers have enjoyed the three days of top class action at Chester Racecourse this week.