Raising a storm aboard Tempest, Franny Norton lands Roman Day feature at Chester
“Now, that’s how you ride Chester!” said Franny Norton after dismounting from the 5/6 favourite, Fastnet Tempest having landed the feature race of Roman Day, the £45,000 MBNA Handicap by a neck. “That wasn’t the plan, I had to sit and suffer but I knew he was a good horse,” added Norton. Course and distance winners Ice Slice and Sound Advice were the early leaders but were unable to maintain the pace as Penworthan and then winner came through on the inside to surge clear.
Action began with the Stellar Group Maiden Stakes and a win for 9/4 chance Highland Pass, ridden by David Probert, who said: “She’s got course form and a level head. She stepped up, I was waiting in behind and she’s got a good turn of foot.” The early leader was Ascot Week, tracked by Musical Terms. Probert brought the winner through a gap between the two and the filly accelerated clear to win by one and a quarter lengths.
The 4/1 favourite Turanga Leela rewarded her supporters with a one and half length victory in the Corinthian Sports Fillies’ Handicap from Socialites Red. Always prominent for jockey Philip Makin she drifted out from the rail to win her race up the centre of the course. “The visor made a difference today, she broke well, I was a little apprehensive about it, but she won round here from the front last year and our only chance was to get her out with a break. The plan would be to come back here if we can, but there is no rush,” explained winning trainer Ian Williams.
“He got first run; he’s straightforward and was always going to get there,” said jockey Adam McNamara after landing the Caldwell Construction Handicap Stakes aboard Energia Fox. The early pace was set by Sands Chorus but the honours went to fast finishing Kapstadt, carrying top weight who was only a neck adrift on the line, and the Marwan Koukash owned Energie Fox.
“Mr Haggas told me to get a lead; they learn such a lot when they run round here. He quickened from two out and if anything he was getting a bit lonely in front,” was the summary provided by jockey Kevin Stott after landing the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes aboard the 4/5 favourite Headway. The winner came wide round the early leader Knockout Blow and had the pace to open up a winning margin of three-lengths.
A late run in the Mionetto Prosecco Handicap by Jaameh proved to be successful tactics as a three-length win ensued. Representing connections, Charlie Johnston said: “Five wide is not where you want to be and he had to get on with it. He’s quite lightly raced for one of ours and is making up into a fun staying horse for the summer.”
Racing closed with the Rosies After Party Handicap. Atkinson Grimshaw made all to provide jockey David Probert and trainer Andrew Balding with a double on the day.
A crowd of 20,046 enjoyed some fantastic racing throughout the afternoon as well as a range of family fun out on the Open Course. The next meeting at Chester Racecourse this season is Halewood Summer Saturday, on 10 June. Click here to purchase tickets and badges for this hotly-anticipated fixture or call the Box Office on 01244 306 600.