THE second day of the May Festival saw the crowds flocking to the Roodee in their thousand to enjoy the sunshine, glamour and great racing action of Boodles Ladies Day.
Almost 23,000 people celebrated Ladies Day in style from the A-list Manchester United first team cheering on their horse Moscow Eight in the 4.35 to the Z list Mario and Lisa from Big Brother 9 unsuccessfully trying to find anyone who recognised them.
Commenting on the day Richard Thomas, Chief Executive of Chester Race Company, said: ‘Today has been fabulous, we’ve had great weather and that really makes a difference to the day, the racing has been top class and the ladies have made a real effort on the fashion side.
“It’s great when we have the footballers and celebrities at the course but its just as important that the regular punter enjoys the experience, Chester is all about fun and I think that shows in the fact that our attendance today is up 3% on last year.’
In terms of the day’s racing action Golden Sword was gilt-edged in the Virgin Money Chester Vase this afternoon as the ladies turned out in their finery and were treated to front-running tactics that paid off, landing a two-length win of the Group 3 Derby trial and earned the winner a quote of 25-1 (from 33-1) with totesport for the colts classic next month.
Jockey Colm O’Donoghue explained: “I thought they’d come to me but I knew once a got past the two furlong pole they wouldn’t get to me. He’s improved and acts on any ground, we were very happy with him.”
Stable mater Masterofthehorse, sent off the 13-8 favourite was dropped out and despite making up significant ground in the straight for Johnny Murtagh, he had to settle for second place.
“He picked up and went,” was how jockey Liam Jones summed up his winning ride aboard 25-1 outsider Cheshire Prince, a course specialist, in the Boodles Diamond Velocity Handicap Stakes, the opener on day two of the Chester May meeting.
Shropshire based trainer Mark Brisbourne said: “I rode a horse behind him at work last Saturday and he had a good blow, I genuinely thought he might be short of work. It was great, wasn’t it? This is the earliest in the season he has won.”
“He’s progressed and I’ve brought him through the ranks. He’s regained his confidence since been involved in a course pile-up here last season. He’s rarely out of the frame when he’s here and this is a stepping stone for the coming weeks, this race will have put him right,” added Brisbourne.
The Queen’s horse Kingdom of Fife come with a sweeping run to finish a close up second.
Doctor Fremantle returned to the scene of his 2008 Chester Vase success to participate in the group 3 extrabet.com Huxley Stakes and had the pace to come wide and snatch a last stride victory by a short head from Staying On.
“He didn’t get the run of the race and had to go on the outside and he was not really into his stride. He toughed it out and found a bit more when he need to,” explained Khalid Abdulla’s Racing Manager Teddy Grimthorpe.
“He’s got some nice entries and one and a half miles will suit him better. He stayed well in the Derby (last year) and we have plenty of options for him now,” added Grimthorpe.
Richard Hills partnered the 7-2 favourite Fareer to victory in the Boodles Diamond Eternity Handicap. The chestnut colt accelerated away from his rivals inside the final furlong. Trainer Ed Dunlop said: “He did it well. Richard said they went a bit too quick. I like the way he travelled in the race when he was maybe a bit green. He might not run again until the Britannia.”
The heavily backed favourite Swilly Ferry could only finish third in the Moscow Eight EBF Maiden Stakes. Three horses were in a line up the straight and Graham Gibbons encouraged a late effort from the 9-1 chance Metal Soldier to take the race by a neck from Ramamara.
“He’s a hardy horse, we did think he’d run a race but the favourite’s form looked hard to beat. First time out you don’t know how they’ll take it but they learn a lot running here and it’s a good day out for the owners. He got a lovely split, he got the run of the race,” explained winning trainer John Quinn.
The final race on the card was the Halliwell Jones BMW Z4 Handicap Stakes. Jamie Spencer used the advantageous draw from stall one to run the rail and surge ahead to win readily by two lengths aboard Invincible Heart, who returned a starting price of 7-2.
Bet Chronicle City Day is on Friday, County and Tattersalls tickets have sold out but there is still availability for Dee Stand and Open Course tickets.