A strong crowd of more than 21,200 racegoers attended Halewood Summer Saturday at Chester Racecourse on Saturday (June 10).
The first June fixture of 2017 saw a 9% uplift on attendance in 2016 and racegoers were in good spirits as they enjoyed a day of competitive racing and sampling courtesy of Halewood brands Crabbies, Liverpool Gin, Whitley Neill Gin and Willow Water.
Hundreds of racegoers took part in a competition to win prizes courtesy of the gin brands, all in the spirit of World Gin Day!
There was an exciting battle between Vona and Starlight Romance in the Liverpool Gin Handicap Stakes, the feature race of the day. Devil’s Bridge was the leader, taking advantage of being drawn in stall one. Entering the straight Casmiro came wide to challenge with the other two prominent horses coming between the leaders to fight out a photo finish.
Starlight Romance was announced the winner by a short head. Jockey Adam McNamara said: “My advice was that she’d jump well and travel in the race. I thought I’d won and she just got up.”
McNamara recorded a quick double when landing the Willow Water Handicap with Megan Lily.
Crowd favourite at the Roodee Franny Norton won the Crabbie’s Handicap by one length aboard Miss Ranger with a trademark sweeping run up the inside rail.
He said: “Everything went smoothly but we weren’t sure about her staying a mile and a half. The leaders made a hole and opened it up for me. I was always confident she’d win.”
Racing concluded with the Tommy & Sheila Clisham Anniversary Handicap. Lord Franklin was the early leader before Jabbaar went on in the straight. Al Destoor bravely negotiated a narrow opening and galloped clear to score unopposed by five lengths.
Visiting Owner David Henery finished his mission to visit all UK racecourses with a final visit to Chester, with his runner Red Tycoon entered in the penultimate race of the day. Unfortunately, David missed out on the win, but did take home his visiting owners badge to complete his collection.
The next two consecutive fixtures at Chester are Grosvenor Shopping Centre Ladies Evening on Friday, June 30 and Matthew Clark Summer Festival on Saturday, July 1.
County Long Room badges are sold out for both fixtures as are Winning Post badges for the Friday evening fixture. Other tickets and badges are available to buy online at chester-races.com or by calling the box office on 01244 304 600.