Three Jockeys celebrate first successes at Grosvenor Shopping Centre Ladies Evening
Three jockeys at the start of their career showed their skills when successfully negotiating their way to record first time wins at the Grosvenor Shopping Centre Ladies Evening meeting today. A crowd of 15,441 racegoers, which represents an increased attendance of 43% compared with the same fixture in 2016, enjoyed the competitive six-race card.
Front running tactics paid off in the Edmundson Electrical Apprentice Handicap Stakes when jockey Ben Robinson recorded his first success at Chester Racecourse aboard 11/1 chance Valentino Boy. Right Action challenged but was half a length adrift crossing the line. “We thought the wide draw might beat him but he was quickly away. I steadied them up and then he won nicely,” said Robinson.
The Eurogold Claiming Stakes provided another jockey with a milestone in the shape of a first Chester Racecourse win, Josh Doyle, who said: “He had the blinkers back on, he’s been second a few times and the sharp tracked suited him.” Michele Strogoff returned at 9/1 was the pace setter and set a strong early gallop, going the shortest way round. The horse accelerated into the home straight and recorded a two-length victory.
“That’s my first winner at Chester. The race panned out perfectly. He’s a bit of a thinker, that’s why I waited and when the gaps came he quickened,” said Lewis Edmunds after dismounting from the 5/2 favourite Explain, successful in the Close Brothers Asset Finance Handicap Stakes. Gabrial The Tiger was the leader but could not maintain the pace as Explain hit the front and despite drifting across the course he recorded a winning distance of five-lengths.
Jockey Franny Norton rode the rail aboard Knight In Armour and looked to have success in the Call the MBNA Team Maiden Auction Stakes in his sights. Dougie Costello had other ideas as he launched a prolonged challenge with Alifax and the partnership headed the leader inside the final stages to score by half a length. Costello explained: “He’s improving every time he runs; we thought the ground could be against him and the second horse was unlucky not to win.”
Four runners contested the feature race on the card, the Grosvenor Shopping Centre/EBF Breeders’ Series Fillies’ Handicap and resulted in a one and three quarter length victory for Titi Makfi, sent off at 7/4, the fourth in a row. Franny Norton had to pull wide to gain a clear run and the horse responded gamely. Representing winning connections, Charlie Johnston commented: “She’s been a revelation this year and gone up 12lbs, she’s improving. We always thought she’d be a better three-year-old and the extra distance suited her. There are plenty of options for her and she may get further in time. We’re enjoying keeping the sequence going!”
The Caldwell Construction Handicap Stakes was the concluding race on the card and resulted in a one and three quarter length win for Contango. A well-timed challenge from jockey David Probert enabled the winner to overhaul the earlier leaders, Rock N Rolla and Je Suis Charlie.
Racing returns to Chester Racecourse tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, 1 July when the Matthew Clark Summer Festival meeting will be staged and the first race comes under starter’s orders at 1.45pm.