'IT'S my favourite course,' was how Daryl Holland described Chester Racecourse last Saturday afternoon after notching up a treble watched by a crowd of 30,724 racegoers.
The feature race was the £40,000 Chester City Wall Stakes and Bishops Court, who started at 4-1 repeated, his 2002 victory. Ridden by Paul Fessey, the gelding came with a characteristic late run and left the field toiling one-and-a-half lengths in his wake.
'He loves it here and a gap came perfectly for him. He seems as good as ever at nine and is such a delightful horse to have around,' explained winning trainer Linda Ramsden.
The card began with the Road Range Wirral Conditions Stakes when Naahy set the pace before folding in the final stages as the 6-4 favourite Monsieur Bond, ridden by Holland, came with his winning run on the outside and held off Halmahera by half a length.
Holland notched up his second win in the Liverpool Handicap Stakes. Red Sun made the running but was unable to maintain the pace as Holland brought 5-1 chance Gralmano wide and was two lengths in front of Ulshaw crossing the finishing post.
Holland recorded his treble in the North Wales Maiden Auction Stakes. Tracking the leader, Sheapys Lass, he brought the evens favourite Foxtrot Too down the outside to get up by one-and-a-half lengths.
Sent off at 8-1, Market Avenue responded to jockey Adrian Nicholls winning the Southport Handicap Stakes by a neck from Frontier after Luxor had made the early running.
The successful two-day meeting closed with the Apprentice Handicap Stakes and a neck win for Glenrock, ridden by Paul Bradley, who adopted forcing tactics and held off challenges from Zietzig and Beveller.
The Friday action, watched by 23,657 racegoers, began with jockey Kevin Darley setting the pace in the Claims UK Maiden Fillies' Stakes on 8-1 shot Anqood. Never headed, the partnership won the seven-furlong event by two-and-a-half lengths from Furaat.
Frontrunning tactics again paid off in the five-furlong Kathleen B Corbett Memorial Handicap Stakes. Sent off at 5-1, Chico Guapo jumped out of stall three, made all the running and repelled the late challenge of the 2-1 favourite Cape Royal to record a half-length victory.
Majestic Missile showed plenty of speed to gallop through his field in the Tessuti Conditions Stakes and justify being sent off the 4-5 favourite. The colt had pulled one-and-a-quarter lengths clear of Nights Cross as he passed the winning post. 'He's done well from a poor draw, he's obviously very fast and we'll stick to five-furlongs at present,' said winning trainer William Haggas.
'I thought we were beaten in the photo and he slipped on the bend,' explained trainer James Given following a short head victory in the Skybet Nursery Handicap Stakes. The winner, 5-4 favourite Harry Up, ridden by Michael Fenton, missed a beat at the start before making up ground from the final bend to deny a win for Stealthelimelight.
Favourite backers were cheering again following an uncontested win by The Glen in the Astbury Wren Insurance Brokers Classified Stakes. Maintaining a lead from the off, Adrian McCarthy held off a challenge from Vicious Warrior to score by one-and-a-quarter lengths on the 6-4 favourite.
The Claims UK Cheshire Yeomary Handicap Stakes was won by 8-1 shot Telemachus by a margin of six lengths and notched up a swift double for trainer James Given and jockey Michael Fenton.