THE two-day August racing festival at Chester rolled out close-up racing action in front of the customary enthusiastic crowd.

Punters had few worries in the opener last Friday, the David McLean Maiden Fillies' Stakes, as Michael Hills took up the running aboard Sues Surprise, backed down to 8-13 favourite, and kept to the inside rail. The short-lived challenge mounted by Demisemiquaver posed little threat as the filly accelerated away to win, eased down by 10 lengths.

Trainer Barry Hills said: 'She's been improving. She killed them off and won easily.'

H Harrison again showed his liking for Chester with a smooth one-and-a-half length success in the Triton Holidays Handicap Stakes. Jockey Andrew Elliott always had the 9-1 chance handy, going on to dictate the pace right to the line. Front-running tactics were successfully adopted by Andrew Mullen, aboard Golan Knight sent off at 8-1, to record a half-length win in the Surrenda-Link Nursery Handicap.

Dellini, a 10-1 outsider ridden by Darryl Holland, came with a storming late run down the centre of the course to snatch the European Breeders' fund Combermere Fillies' Conditions Stakes on the line by a short head.

Following the running of the Audi Q7 Season Handicap Stakes, trainer Mark Brisbourne said: 'He was a good little purchase for three grand, he knows his way around here,' One-and-a-half lengths was the winning margin recorded by New Star, who was sent off at 10-1 and ridden by Liam Jones.

Friday racing took place in front of an 11,900 crowd and concluded with the Bollinger Champagne Series Handicap Stakes in Association with the Daily Telegraph. Charlie Huxley brought 4-1 shot Daryal smoothly through the leaders to win by half a length.

Saturday began with a popular success in the Handicap Stakes when 5-2 favourite Coconut Moon jumped smartly away from stall one for William Buik, a three-pound claimer with a bright future, and made all to score by one-and-a-half lengths.

Trainer Eric Alston said: 'The draw makes a big difference here, she never looked like getting beaten. She likes it round here and if there's another race for her this year, she'll be back.'

Bauer produced a good turn of foot as Eddie Ahern pulled the 11-8 favourite wide entering the straight in the Call 08000 568 621 Chester Handicap Stakes, speeding past the leaders to record a two-length victory from Lundy's Lane.

Buick notched up a quick double aboard 16-1 outsider Vanderlin in the £40,000 Stakes.

Trainer Andrew Balding said: 'The handicapper has given him a chance. The horse thoroughly deserved that win. 'We've been waiting for the right race and ground. William is an absolute natural, the three-pound claim made all the difference and he's given him a peach of a ride.'

The Call 08000 568 621 EBF Conditions Stakes resulted in a one-and-three-quarter-length victory for Imperial Mint, ridden by Jimmy Quinn.

Eastern Gift, who started at 15-8, had the advantage of the inside rail and was able to hold off the prolonged challenge mounted by Bellomi in the home straight to land the Raymond Corbett EBF Maiden Stakes by a neck.

Two days of racing closed with the William T Corbett 'In Running' Handicap Stakes and a swift double for Quinn aboard Gee Dee Nen, who carried a top weight of 10 stone and was returned at 4-1.

Saturday's attendance was 18,951.