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Wednesday, May 5, 2004



At the end of day one of the Chester May Meeting, the going is


Ed Gretton, Chester’s Clerk of the Course, said: “It’s not horrifically soft ground and we are forecast a dry night tonight followed by a better day tomorrow with just a drop of rain and there is a good forecast for Friday.”


The attendance of 18,229 today was 4,521 (+33 per cent) up on the opening day crowd in 2003 (on a Tuesday) of 13,708.


Even before the starter’s flag came down to signal the opening of the Chester May Meeting, Richard Thomas, the racecourse’s chief executive, had the satisfaction of knowing that he had already backed a winner.

Thomas, who was always confident that putting the fixture back 24 hours was the right thing to do, said: “Traditionally, the Tuesday always produced the smallest attendance - between 14,000 and 15,000 - but, in contrast, we are already sold out on the Friday, which has always been a hugely popular racing day with the locals.

“There was never any chance that we would switch the totesport Chester Cup, and to even think of moving the race from the Wednesday would have seen me hanging from the clock in the centre of town.

“Wednesday is as much Chester Cup day as Tuesday is Melbourne Cup day in Australia - everything stops for the racing and you can’t tinker with tradition.

“I think this is the best day first day we have ever had at the May Meeting, with the Letheby & Christopher Cheshire Oaks complementing the totesport Chester Cup, and, though there are a handful of Tattersalls tickets left, we are expecting our customary 20,000 crowd.

“Both Thursday and Friday are fully sold out, and we have done terrific corporate hospitality business, with not a seat in a box, marquee or chalet left over the three days.”

First Race Quotes - Joseph Heler Cheshire Cheese Lily Agnes Stakes


Bryan McMahon loves Chester, but the Tamworth trainer has been out of luck for almost six years round the Roodee, and, having saddled 54 consecutive losers on the course, his luck finally turned when Dance Night won the opener, the Joseph Heler Cheshire Cheese Lily Agnes Stakes.

Graham Gibbons had to push his way out of a pocket but, once he escaped, Dance Night, the 15-8 favourite, quickened up well, and they scored by a length and a half from Sapphire Dream, with Beaver Patrol, who did not enjoy the best of runs, back in third.

McMahon said:”I know there was some scrimmaging, but I think the best horse won, and Graham gave him a super ride. He has had a few bad days, so this one will be even sweeter.

“You need a horse with speed round Chester and, though Dance Night is related to Ascot Gold Cup winner Mr Dinos, he has plenty of pace. That said, he’ll get further, so that increases our options.”

Graham Gibbons, the winning jockey, commented: “It’s even better riding a winner around here. It is some sensation, with the crowd around you - there is no better place.

“I had to just accept (not breaking as well as hoped) and sit in behind. I knew that Dance Night had a nice turn of foot so when the gap came on the bend I kicked him into it and he went around the job nicely.

“It is good round, a little bit on the slow side.”



The Geoff Wragg-trained Hidden Hope appreciated the step up in trip for the Letheby & Christopher Cheshire Oaks when coming home two and a half lengths clear from Menhoubah to give the winning trainer a fourth win in the race.

But the winner is not in the Vodafone Oaks at Epsom and when asked if he now wished the filly was in the classic, Wragg replied: “No comment!”

He added: “I was hoping she’d get a place today because I knew she’d stay and she did run well at Windsor last time. The Oaks entry time probably came a bit soon for her and I think she’ll be aimed at the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot now.”

Ted Durcan, winning his first Cheshire Oaks, said: “I rode her last week at home and she worked well - I thought she would run a big race today. It’s hard to make up any headway on this ground and having the rail helped. My horse also acted on the course extremely well.

“Mr Wragg was spot on as he was expecting a good run from Hidden Hope We knew that a mile and half would be up her alleyway, she loved the ground and is honest - that is half the battle.

“It was a huge ask but Mr Wragg always gets them spot on and improves them. Last week, he was sweet on her. She picked up well and ran all the way to the line.”

Clive Brittain, trainer of second-placed Menhoubah, said: “I’m delighted. She’s been racing on fast ground and Darryll (Holland) thought she might have quickened better if there had been no rain. She’ll go for the Italian Oaks and if the ground came up fasr, she’d put up a bold show.”

Barry Hills, who saddled State Crystal to be third, said: “I was suprised she was sent off favourite. She’d had a few setbacks and though she’ll improve it remains to be seen if she’s up to Listed class.”


Graham Gibbons, who won the first race on Dance Night, received a one-day ban for careless riding on Sunday, May 16.



Trainer Alan Bailey was full of praise for Sapphire Dream after the filly went down by a length and a half to Dance Night in the opening Joseph Heler Cheshire Cheese Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes.

“I don’t think this was a bad race and I was pleased with that run - she’s a really game genuine filly,” said Bailey. “She’ll go to Haydock in a fortnight’s time for a fillies’ maiden now.

“She’s so relaxed and just switches off and just wants to please you. If she stood on your toe she’d apologise!”


The ground was officially changed to GOOD TO SOFT and jockeys riding in the first race agreed the ground was on the soft side of good.

Winning rider Graham Gibbons said “It’s on the slow side of good”, Frankie Dettori called it “good, good to soft in places”, Robert Winston called it “good to soft”, while Dane O’Neill described the surface as “soft”.


Clerk of the course Ed Gretton changed the going description to soft after the second race.

Third race quotes - totesport Chester Cup


Punters were singing in the rain after Anak Pekan had landed one of the gambles of the season to win the totesport Chester Cup as the 2/1 favourite

Apart from one hiccup approaching the home turn - “another horse came right across me and I was nearly brought down,” observed winning jockey Philip Robinson - Anak Pekan never looked in danger, and, picked up early in the straight, he scooted clear to tumultuous applause from the packed stands for a five-length victory over Misternando.

Michael Jarvis had planned this coup in November, and the punters certainly got wind of it as Anak Pekan was backed at 6-1 when the sponsors opened betting on the race three weeks ago, with spokesman Andy Clifton reflecting “It was a terrible result, though we can’t complain as we are long overdue a winning favourite in the race.”

Jarvis, showered with congratulations, said: ”I was glad to hear in the car coming up that it had started raining at Chester. Anak Pekan has good form on faster ground, but he is particularly effective in the soft.

“I know he went up 10lb for winning at Kempton (Queen’s Prize), but he hadn’t win it, he would probably have not got in this race.

“There was never a worry about the track - he is not very big and is a handy horse, but, looking back, it was the trip to the vet’s after he ran a stinker at Kempton over Easter last year that made the difference with this horse.

“He has definitely run sweeter since he was gelded, but stepping up in distance and getting his ground has also helped, and I suspect the handicapper will put us up another 10lb after this trouncing.

“Therefore, we might have to look at a conditions race, though I would like to think he might have a tilt at the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.”

Philip Robinson added: “It was always going to get a bit rough as everybody was jostling for position about four out but luckily I had the horse to get me through that. He is a great horse for around here.

“He is still mentally improving and he has physically grown up during the winter - he is a much stronger horse this year. He travels well during his races, picks up and gives you everything. It is soft ground out there and he loves it.

“The Northumberland Plate would be ideal for him.”

Third race place quotes - totesport Chester Cup


Sam Hitchcott claimed the draw and the rain-softened ground cost him the race on Misternando, who was the brave runner-up, beaten five lengths, behind Anak Pekan in the totesport Chester Cup.

The jockey said: “We had to race six wide all the way round and, with a better draw and better ground, I have no doubt that he would have won. He has run an absolute cracker.”

Big Moment, an unlucky runner-up 12 months ago, ran another solid race to finish third, finishing well, but trainer Amanda Perrett had no excuses.

She said: “He might have been better placed early on, but, though he was staying on well, the winner had flown, so I can have no excuses.”

Andrew Balding has Royal Ascot in mind for Distant Prospect, who finished fourth.

The trainer said: “He lost his position early on, so he had to do it the hard way. But he loved the ground and I hope it comes up wet at Ascot.”



Trainer Bryan McMahon, jockey Graham Gibbons and Mansfield-based owner John Fretwell pulled off a near 25/1 double when Lake Garda held off Fun To Ride by a length.

“There are a lot of lows on this game and you have to have these high days sometimes and make the most of them,” said a delighted McMahon.

“We’ve had all sorts of problems since he last ran when he finished third at Haydock. His shoe slipped and he stood on the clip that held it on, puncturing his foot. He pulled his shoe off again today, I don’t know why he does it but if you’ve got no shoe you’ve no horse.”

Michael Hills, rider of second-placed Fun To Ride, said: “She was tucked in and I had to ask her for an effort early on and she couldn’t pick her feet out of the ground.”


Adrian Nicholls was suspended for a day - Sunday, May 16 - after being found guilty of careless riding on the third Sessay in the Tess Graham Memorial Handicap, after causing interference to the second Fun To Ride on the final bend.

Quotes for Race Five - Weatherbys Bank Maiden Stakes (Div 1)


Catwalk Cleric,owned by Favourites Racing, justified Evens favouritism from stall three in the Weatherbys Bank Maiden Stakes (Div 1).

Winning trainer Mark Wallace was full of praise for jockey Kieren Fallon, who looked in trouble on the bend but wound up the youngster for a length success over 33-1 shot Town House.

Wallace said:”If that had been a straight course, Catwalk Cleric, who has learned plenty from his Windsor introduction, would have won three lengths.

“He is a decent horse and, though I could not see him being beaten today, I must confess that I was worried two out.

“But Kieren makes all the difference. He is a gifted jockey and the best in the business.”



Trainer Barry Hills, who is synonymous with success at the Chester May Meeting, had his first win at the 2004 fixture when Moss Vale got up in the David M Robinson Diamond Design Handicap.

The winner carried top weight of 9st 7lb but Hills admitted: “I thought he’d be able to give away the weight and he did. This horse was a good two-year-old last year, showing a lot of speed, and I think that he’ll improve with age.

“It’s hard to find the right races for these three-year-olds and keep them away from the older horses.”

Quotes on Race Seven - Weatherbys Bank Maiden Stakes (Div 11)


The 10-man Selby-based syndicate, who race under the umbrella ‘The Selebians’, were in full voice after Tiviski had won the finale, the Weatherbys Bank Maiden Stakes (Div 11) for Lancashire-based Eric Alston.

Theatre of Dreams made a brave attempt to lead from start to finish, but Willie Supple forced Tiviski past in the last half-furlong and they readily held off odds-on Alpaga Le Jomage.

Alston said: “Tiviski ran a promising first race in the mud at Doncaster, but she then disappointed us on fast ground at Musselburgh, so we came here not knowing what to expect.

“Perhaps, cut in the ground is what she wants, but she is a game filly and I’m delighted for the boys. They love a day out, and we might have another one in Ireland later on as she is qualified for the big Tattersalls Sales race out there.”


Clerk of the course Ed Gretton had his prayers answered overnight when three millimetres of rain fell on Chester, changing the official going to ‘Good’ for the opening stage of the Roodee’s ever-popular three-day May Meeting.

Amazingly, Chester has missed most of the recent deluge that has been prevalent throughout the bulk of Britain over the past few days, so both last night’s downpour and this morning’s showers were just what Gretton wanted.

He said:”Between the six and five-furlong poles, there are still parts of good to firm ground, but the last three furlongs are now good and the course is in fantastic nick.

“We have been relatively fortunate as compared to the rest of the country as we have had only eight millimetres of rain in the last 36 hours and last week we had only two millimetres on the Tuesday.

“We even had to put three millimetres of water on track on Saturday just to take the sting out of the ground, but the forecast for the week is sunshine and showers, so we are in the lap of the gods.”


Rainbow High (1999) is the only favourite in the last 10 years to have won the totesport Chester Cup, but punters seem convinced that they will be cheering home the “jolly” this afternoon as Anak Pekan, who has been all the rage since the weights came out, has been backed virtually to the exclusion of the others in the offices this morning.

Anak Pekan, who ran away with the Queen’s Prize at Kempton over Easter, races off a 10lb higher mark, but both the sponsors and Victor Chandler, who went a top-priced 3-1, were forced to run for cover after breakfast.

Andy Clifton of totesport said: “We offered 6-1 when we first opened a book on the race last month, but the punters have been steadily nibbling away and there was inspired money for him this morning, prompting us to cut our odds to 5-2.”

Chandlers took the same evasive action - “he has everything in his favour and, apart from Distant Prospect, I can’t see a horse who might rescue us,” said spokesman Neal Wilkins - while, though Hills quoted Anak Pekan at 11-4 this morning, David Hood reports that they, too, were inundated with enquiries and they have shortened the favourite’s odds to 9-4.

The big-race apart, the only other horse commanding significant interest is David Arbuthnot’s Green Manalishi in the David M Robinson Diamond Design Handicap, and he has been clipped to 10-1 from 12-1.


Class B, Ù20,000 added. 5f, For 2yo. Weights: colts and geldings 8st 10lb; fillies 8st 5lb. Penalties for each Class D race won 3lb; for each Class C race won 6lb; for each Class A or B race won 9lb; penalties cumulative and maximum penalty 9lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £12,325; 2nd: £4,675; 3rd: £2,337.50; 4th: £1,062.50; 5th: £531.25; 6th: £318.75

1 DANCE NIGHT (John Fretwell) Bryan McMahon 2-8-10 Graham Gibbons [1] 15-8fav
2 SAPPHIRE DREAM (P Tellwright) Alan Bailey 2-8-05 Ted Durcan [2] 8-1
3 BEAVER PATROL (G Stevens) Fulke Johnson Houghton 2-8-13 Steve Carson [3] 100-30
4 CANTON (Louis Stalder) Richard Hannon 2-8-10 Dane O'Neill [6]
5 MONASHEE PRINCE (Richmond Thoroughbreds) John Best 2-8-10 Neil Pollard [5]
6 KING AFTER (Dave Nevison) John Best 2-8-10 Frankie Dettori [7]
7 I'M AIMEE (Derek Hilton) David Evans 2-8-07(inc 2lbow) Steve Drowne [8]
8 TARA TARA (Tara Leisure) John Quinn 2-8-08 Robert Winston [9]
9 MITCHELLAND (R Whitton) James Moffatt 2-8-08 Joe Fanning [4]

9 ran No 6 Westbrook Blue (vet’s certificate)
Dist: 1 1/2, hd, 1/2, nk, 1/2, 1 1/4, hd, 1 1/4 Time: 1m 2.72s
Breeder: Peter McClutcheon Breeding: Danehill Dancer - Tiger Wings (Thatching)
Tote Win: £2.70 Places: £1.30; £2.00; £1.60 Exacta:£17.60

Winning trainer:-Name: McMahon, Bryan Arthur
Date of birth:1937; Date of first licence:1971; Previous occupation:Apprentice jockey with Jack Waugh,spells with Harvey Leader and Gordon Powell,and permit trainer; Horses in training (1999-2003): 44:37:41:39:15 Wins in a season (1982-2003):15:19:8:19:8: 6:20:21:22 :14:31:22:30 :21:19 :33:32:24:32:21:20:35 Major wins include: William Hill Lincoln Handicap (1995 Roving Minstrel), Victor Chandler Palce House Stakes (1998 Yorkies Boy, 2003 Needwood Balde) Trains at Woodside Farm, Tamworth, Staffordshire Wins This Season: 9

Winning jockey:-Name: Gibbons, Graham Wins 2000-2003: 7; 54; 45; 34 Background: Was apprenticed to Reg Hollinshead Son of psychiatric nurse. On horseback since the age of seven he is a former all-Ireland pony club champion. Wins This Season: 9

Class A, Listed Race, 1m 3 1/2f, £50,000 guaranteed, for 3yo fillies. Weights: 8st 9lb.Penalties: a winner of a Listed race of 7f or more 3lb; of a Pattern race of 7f or more 5lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £29,000; 2nd: £11,000; 3rd: £5,500; 4th: £2,500; 5th: £1,250; 6th: £750

1 HIDDEN HOPE (Mrs Stephen Lussier) Geoff Wragg 3-8-09 Ted Durcan [1] 14-1
2 MENHOUBAH (Saeed Manana) Clive Brittain 3-8-09 Darryll Holland [2] 7-2jt-fav
3 CRYSTAL CURLING (Mrs Urs Schwarzenbach) Barry Hills 3-8-09 Michael Hills [4] 7-2jt-fav
4 SI SI AMIGA (Dick Bonnycastle) Barry Hills 3-8-09 Martin Dwyer [8]
5 QASIRAH (Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum) Michael Jarvis 3-8-09 Philip Robinson [5]
6 ITHACA (Khalid Abdulla) Henry Cecil 3-8-09 Willie Ryan [6]
7 ALEXANDER DUCHESS (Miriam O’Callaghan) James Burns IRE 3-8-09 Johnny Murtagh [7]
8 DERAASAAT (Hamdan Al Maktoum) Ed Dunlop 3-8-09 Richard Hills [9]
9 PROUD TRADITION (Sue Magnier & Exors of the Late Robert Sangster) John Gosden 3-8-09 Frankie Dettori [3]

9 ran
Dist: 2 1/2, 2, 6, 5, 3, 11, 2, dist Time: 2m 27.30s
Breeder: Hascombe & Valiant Studs Breeding: Daylami - Nuryana (Nureyev)
Tote Win: £12.80 Places: £2.30; £3.20; £1.70 Exacta:£147.40

Winning trainer:-Name: Wragg, Geoffrey; Date of birth:9/1/30 Previous Occupation:Assistant to father Harry Wragg; First Trainers’ licence: February 1983 Classic wins: (1) Vodafone Derby (1983 Teenoso): Other Major wins:Ascot Gold Cup (1994 Arcadian Heights) King George VI and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1984 Teenoso, 1996 Pentire), Prince of Wales's Stakes (1996 First Island), Sussex Stakes (1992 Marling, 1996 First Island), Coronation Stakes (1992 Marling, 1997 Rebecca Sharp, 1998 Balisada), Lockinge Stakes (1989 Most Welcome, 1997 First Island), Gordon Richards Stakes (2001 Island House), Letheby & Christopher Cheshire Oaks (1985 Helenetta, 1989 Braiswick; 2001 Rockerlong; 2004 Hidden Hope), Ormonde Stakes (2001 and 2002 St Expedit; 2003 Asian Heights), Swinley Stakes (2002 Monturani), September Stakes (1991 Young Buster, 2002 Asian Heights) Wins In A Season (1989-2003): 25:32:51:45:35:33:33:28:27:14:22:27:29:26:16
Trains at Abington Place, Newmarket, Suffolk Wins this season: 7

Winning jockey:-Name: Durcan, Thomas Edward (Ted) Born: February 25, 1973 Married: to Sue, who works for the Godolphin website Background: Apprenticed to Jack Berry, went to ride work for Paddy Rudkin in Dubai in 1997, having lost claim in England and believing that it would be impossible without the allowance. Wins 1997 to 2003: (15, -, 0, 23, 54, 58, 29) Other details: Champion jockey in Dubai 1999 (58 wins from 280 rides), 2000 (56 wins), 2001 (56 wins) Big Race Wins include: Godolphin Mile (Conflict, Nad Al Sheba, March 25, 2000); Dubai Duty Free (Rhythm Band, Nad Al Sheba, March 25, 2000), Rockfel Stakes (2003 Cairns), Stanley Leisure Sprint Cup (2000 Pipalong, 2003 Somnus), Letheby & Christopher Cheshire Oaks (2004 Hidden Hope) Wins This Season: 10

Class B, £120,000 guaranteed. 2m 2 1/2f, For 4yo+. Highest weight not less than 9st 10lb. Minimum weight 7st 12lb. Penalties: after April 17, a winner 3lb. Weight for age 4 from 5yo+ 4lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £69,600; 2nd: £26,400; 3rd: £13,200; 4th: £6,000; 5th: £3,000; 6th: £1,800

1 ANAK PEKAN (HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah) Michael Jarvis 4-8-02 Philip Robinson [4] 2-1fav
2 MISTERNANDO (John Duggan) Mick Channon 4-8-10 Sam Hitchcott (3) [18] 33-1
3 BIG MOMENT (R Doel, A Black, Dr J Howells, D Broad) Amanda Perrett 6-8-12 Darryll Holland [11] 7-1
4 DISTANT PROSPECT (The Rae Smiths & Pauline Gale) Andrew Balding 7-8-06
Martin Dwyer [5] 15-2
5 MANA D'ARGENT (Daniel Couper) Mark Johnston 7-8-05 Joe Fanning [10]
6 PONDERON (Mrs P Robeson) Fulke Johnson Houghton 4-8-01 Steve Carson [12]
7 RANDOM QUEST (Terry Warner) Brian Llewellyn 6-8-04 Frannie Norton [3]
8 NUMITAS (Cheveley Park Stud) Philip Hobbs 4-8-03 Jamie Mackay [2]
9 KRISTENSEN (Equiname Ltd) Don Eddy 5-7-13 Jimmy Quinn [15]
10 ALMIZAN (Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum) Mick Channon 4-8-00 Chris Catlin [8]
11 COLLIER HILL (Ashley Young & R Hall) Alan Swinbank 6-8-12 Eddie Ahern [9]
12 GRALMANO (Coleorton Moor Racing) Kevin Ryan 9-8-01 Paul Fessey [1]
13 ARCHDUKE FERDINAND (Catherine Corbett & Chris Wright) Paul Cole 6-8-04 John Egan [14]
14 RAYSHAN (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 4-9-02 Robert Winston [6]
15 GRACILIS (Michael Watt) Alan Swinbank 7-7-09 Lisa Jones (3) [7]
16 SWING WING (Sir Martyn Arbib) Paul Cole 5-9-10 Kieren Fallon [16]
17 RAHWAAN (Six Iron Partnership) Chris Fairhurst 5-8-03 Paul Hanagan [13]

17 ran Non-runner: No 3 Unleash (vet’s certificate)
Dist: 5, 3/4, 1/2, sh, 1 1/2, 3/4, nk, 2 1/2, 9, 3/4, 11, 9, 3, 3, 6, 22 Time: 4m 10.90s
Breeder: Rebecca Philipps Breeding: In The Wings - Trefoil (Blakeney)
Tote Win: £3.20 Places: £1.50; £6.50; £2.10; £1.90 Exacta:£100.40

Winning trainer:-Name: Jarvis, Michael Andrew Born: Lewes, 14/8/1938 Date of first licence: 1968 Previous Occupation: Son of jump jockey Andrew Jarvis, worked for Bob Turnell and Ryan Price, rode 3 winners as National Hunt jockey, head lad to Towser Gosden for 6 years, head lad to Gordon Smyth for 2 years, private trainer to David Robinson for 8 years.Wins in a season (1991-2003): 24:28:21:15:18:20:17:19:35:38:56:55:57 Number of horses in training (1991-2003): 59: 46: 39: 39: 43: 36: 45: 66: 61:73:95:106:103 British Classic Wins: Sagitta 1,000 Guineas (2001 Ameerat) Major wins include: French Derby (2000 Holding Court), Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (1989 Carroll House), Italian Derby (1989 Prorutori, 2001 Morshdi), Premio Parioli (1984 Southern Arrow), 1989 Italian St Leger (Sierra Star), July Cup (1968 So Blessed, 1969 Tudor Music), Nunthorpe Stakes (1968 Flying Legs, 1973 Bitty Girl), Haydock Sprint Cup (1969 Tudor Music, 1971 Green God, 1984 Petong), Racing Post Trophy (1980 Beldale Flutter), Juddmonte International (1981 Beldale Flutter), Coronation Cup (1982 Easter Sun), Premio Presidente Della Repubblica (1985 Bob Back, 2003 Rakti); Champion Stakes (2003 Rakti); totesport Chester Cup (2004 Anak Pekan) Trains at: Kremlin House, Newmarket, Suffolk Wins this season: 17

Winning jockey:-Name: Robinson, Philip Peter. Born: 10/1/61 in Newmarket Apprenticeship: With father, Peter Robinson. First winner: Busting (Yarmouth, June 14, 1978) Classic wins: (6) Sagitta 1,000 Guineas (1984 Pebbles; 2001 Ameerat); St Leger (1993 Bob's Return); German 1,000 Guineas (2000 Crimplene), Irish 1,000 Guineas (2000 Crimplene), French Derby (2000 Holding Court) Other major wins include: Coronation Stakes (1984 Katies, 2000 Crimplene); Nassau Stakes (2000 Crimplene) Great Voltigeur Stakes (1993 Bob’s Return); Premio Presidente della Repubblica (2003 Rakti), Coronation Cup (2003 Warrsan); Champion Stakes (2003 Rakti), totesport Chester Cup (2004 Anak Pekan) Wins (1992-2003): 52,52,50,41,31,0,28,53,57,47,55,70 Other details: Rode in Hong Kong 1989-91 (leading rider 1989 and 1990) and returned in 1997 Wins This Season: 15


Class C, £18,000 added. 6f, For 3yo rated 0-90. Minimum weight 7st 12lb. Penalties: after April 24, a winner 6lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £13,065; 2nd: £4,020; 3rd: £2,010; 4th: £1,005

1 LAKE GARDA (Jeff Fretwell) Bryan McMahon 3-9-02 Graham Gibbons [1] 8-1
2 FUN TO RIDE (Abdulla Buhaleeba) Barry Hills 3-9-07 Michael Hills [5] 3-1fav
3 SESSAY (P Crane, A Barker & S Short) Dandy Nicholls 3-8-00 Adrian Nicholls [6] 25-1
4 INSTANT RECALL (Susan Roy) Brian Meehan 3-8-09 Darryll Holland [2]
5 ACE CLUB (C Donovan) William Haggas 3-8-06 Richard Hills [12]
6 PRESTO SHINKO (Tony Everett) Richard Hannon 3-8-09 Kieren Fallon [9]
7 BO MCGINTY (Paddy McGinty & Bo Turnbull) Richard Fahey 3-8-10 Paul Hanagan [15]
8 BENBAUN (Ransley, Skidmore & Birks) Mark Wallace 3-9-01 Dean Corby (3) [3]
9 PICCOLO PRINCE (The Burlington Partnership) Eric Alston 3-7-13 Jimmy Quinn [10]
10 LA VIE EST BELLE (Robin Lawson) Rod Millman 3-8-07 Adrian McCarthy [13]
11 GO YELLOW (G Price) David Evans 3-8-04 Steve Carson [4]
12 COMMANDO SCOTT (Ann Morris) Alan Berry 3-8-09 Fergal Lynch [11]
13 CATCH THE WIND (C Tateson) Ian Wood 3-8-13 Johnny Murtagh [16]
14 TICERO (J Threadwell) Clive Brittain 3-8-11 Ted Durcan [7]

14 ran Non-runner: No 11 Bertocelli (ground); No 16 Embassy Lord (double declaration)
Dist: 1, 1, 1 1/2, 1, 1/2, 3, 3 1/2, sh, 1 1/2, sh, sh, 8, 9 Time: 1m 15.90s
Breeder: Capt J H Wilson Breeding: Komaite - Malcesine (Auction Ring)
Tote Win: £8.80 Places: £2.20; £2.00; £5.90 Exacta:£20.60

Winning trainer:-Name: McMahon, Bryan Arthur
Date of birth:1937; Date of first licence:1971; Previous occupation:Apprentice jockey with Jack Waugh,spells with Harvey Leader and Gordon Powell,and permit trainer; Horses in training (1999-2003): 44:37:41:39:15 Wins in a season (1982-2003):15:19:8:19:8: 6:20:21:22 :14:31:22:30 :21:19 :33:32:24:32:21:20:35 Major wins include: William Hill Lincoln Handicap (1995 Roving Minstrel), Victor Chandler Palace House Stakes (1998 Yorkies Boy, 2003 Needwood Blade) Trains at Woodside Farm, Tamworth, Staffordshire Wins This Season: 10 (2nd success of Chester May Meeting (24 7/8 double))

Winning jockey:-Name: Gibbons, Graham Wins 2000-2003: 7; 54; 45; 34 Background: Was apprenticed to Reg Hollinshead. Son of psychiatric nurse. On horseback since the age of seven, he is a former all-Ireland pony club champion. Wins This Season: 10 (2nd success of Chester May Meeting (24 7/8 double))

Class D, Division I, £12,000 added, for 2yo. 5f, Weights: colts & geldings 9st; fillies 8st 9lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £8,287.50; 2nd: £2,550; 3rd: £1,275; 4th: £637.50

1 CATWALK CLERIC (Favourites Racing) Mark Wallace 2-9-00 Kieren Fallon [3] Evs fav
2 TOWN HOUSE (J Chrimes) Brian Baugh 2-8-09 Joe Fanning [5] 33-1
3 THE CROOKED RING (J Salter) David Evans 2-9-00 Kevin Darley [7]
4 VICTORIA PEEK (Ambrose Turnbull) Dandy Nicholls 2-8-09 Adrian Nicholls [1]
5 AZA WISH (Cannon, Grundy & Harris) Debbie Evans 2-8-09 Shashi Righton [6]
6 CHILLY CRACKER (John Marriott) Reg Hollinshead 2-8-09 Dale Gibson [4]
7 THE TERMINATOR (John Connor) Alan Berry 2-9-00 Frannie Norton [2]

7 ran Non-runners: No 2 Sydneyroughdiamond (vet’s certificate); No 6 Ballycroy Girl (vet’s certificate)
Dist: 1, nk, 2, 5, 3 1/2, 15 Time: 1m 4.44s
Breeder: Tony Mullins Breeding: Orpen - Ministerial Model (Shalford)
Tote Win: £2.00 Places: £1.70; £6.70 Exacta:£71.70

Winning Trainer:- Name: Wallace, Mark Based: Woodlands Stables, Newmarket, Suffolk Marital Status: single Background: A doctor’s son fron Tipperary who was brought up on an Irish stud farm. Previously assistant trainer to Mick Channon, who he left to set up on his own as a handler in September, 2002, for five and a half years. Has also worked for John Oxx before taking on role as assistant trainer for Irish champion trainer Aidan O’Brien for two years. Trains at Woodlands, owned by Di Haine and previously occupied by her father Tom Jones. First Runner: Midshipman (Littlewoods Bet Direct Handicap, Lingfield (aw (lunchtime race on C4)), February 5, 2003, last of 11 runners) First Winner: Easter Ogil (Bet Direct On 0800 32 93 93 Apprentice Handicap, Lingfield (aw), February 8, 2003) First Double: March 28, 2003 (Romancero, Lingfield and Blanco, Southwell) First Treble: April 21, 2003 (Waterlily, Fakenham, Clifden, Yarmouth and Blanco, Nottingham) Number of Horses in Training 2003-2004: 41; 60 Jockeys Utilised: Steve Drowne and Ted Durcan, both when available Big Race Victories: Premio Giuseppe de Montel (2003 Romancero); Premio Gino Mantovani (2003 Firebelly) Wins This Season: 7

Winning jockey:-Name: Fallon, Kieren Francis. Born: County Clare, Ireland, 22/2/65 Apprenticeship: 1983 Kevin Prendergast First winner: Piccadily Lord (Navan, June 18, 1984) Wins (1988-2003): 31,28,39,29,45,60,47,91,136,202*,204*,202*,149, 166*, 149*, 221* *Champion jockey Classic wins: (9) Sagitta 2000 Guineas (2000 King’s Best, 2001 Golan), Sagitta 1000 Guineas (1997 Sleepytime, 1999 Wince, 2003 Russian Rhythm), Vodafone Oaks (1997 Reams Of Verse, 1999 Ramruma), Vodafone Derby (1999 Oath, 2003 Kris Kin) Other major wins include: King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (2002 Golan), Sussex Stakes (1997 Ali-Royal); Cherry Hinton Stakes (1996 Dazzle), Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (1997 Bosra Sham), Ribblesdale Stakes (1997 Yashmak), Cheveley Park Stakes (1997 Embassy), St James’s Palace Stakes (1998 Dr Fong), Yorkshire Oaks (1998 Catchascatchcan, 1999 Ramruma, 2002 and 2003 Islington), Gimcrack Stakes (1994 Chilly Billy, 1998 Josr Algharoud); Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (1999 Craigsteel); Tattersalls Gold Cup (1999 Shiva); Irish Oaks (1999 Ramruma); Budweiser International Stakes (1999 Great Dane); Vodafone Coronation Cup (2000 Daliapour, 2002 Boreal), Jockey Club Stakes (2000 Blueprint), Dubai Sheema Classic (2000 Fantastic Light), Queen Anne Stakes (2000 Kalanisi, 2001 Medicean), Masai Mile (2001 Nicobar), Dee Stakes (2001 Dr Greenfield), Dante Stakes (2001 Dilshaan), Macau Jockey Club Craven Stakes (2002 King Of Happiness), Gerrard Investment Management Richmond Stakes (1997 Daggers Drawn, 2002 Elusive City), Vodafone Nassau Stakes (2002 Islington, 2003 Russian Rhythm), Prix Morny (2002 Elusive City), Lowther Stakes (2002 Russian Rhythm), Diadem Stakes (2002 Crystal Castle), July Stakes (2003Nevisian Lad), Fillies’ Mile (2003 Red Bloom) Wins This Season: 37


Class C, £20,000 added. 5f, For 3yo rated 0-100. Minimum weight 7st 12lb. Penalties: after April 24, a winner 6lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £13,682.50; 2nd: £4,210; 3rd: £2,105; 4th: £1,052.50

1 MOSS VALE (John Grant) Barry Hills 3-9-07 Michael Hills [7] 5-1
2 GREEN MANALISHI (Derrick Broomfield) David Arbuthnot 3-7-13 Jimmy Quinn [8] 9-1
3 WANCHAI LAD (Ambrose Turnbull) Dandy Nicholls 3-8-09 Kevin Darley [14] 50-1
4 EMBASSY LORD (Denny Mansell Racing Partnership) John O'Reilly 3-7-13 (inc8lbow) James O'Reilly (7) [5]
5 FOURSQUARE (Tim Kelly) John Mackie 3-8-13 Neil Callan [6]
6 SIR ERNEST (G Lucas) Mark Polglase 3-8-00(inc2lbow) Martin Dwyer [3]
7 INCISE (David & Trish Brown) Brian Meehan 3-9-00 Frankie Dettori [11]
8 LOCAL POET (John Fretwell) Bryan McMahon 3-9-02 Graham Gibbons [15]
9 HARRY UP (John Rose) James Given 3-8-11 Michael Fenton [1] 100/30fav
10 TRIBUTE (Sheikh Mohammed) David Loder 3-8-01 (inc3lbow) Tom Queally (3) [12]
11 JOHNNY PARKES (Joseph Heler) Lynda Ramsden 3-8-04 Philip Robinson [9]
12 DIVINE SPIRIT (A Mallen) Michael Dods 3-8-04 Paul Hanagan [10]
13 CHEEKY CHI (Mrs R McEntee) Phil McEntee 3-7-07 Dominic Fox (5) [4]
14 JADAN (Derrick Mossop) Eric Alston 3-7-12 Jamie Mackay [13]
15 DEMOLITION MOLLY (D Blott) Bomber Marvin 3-7-09 Lisa Jones (3) [2]

15 ran
Dist: 1/2, 3, 1/2, nk, 1/2, 1 1/2, 1/2, 2 1/2, hd, nk, 1 1/2, 3, 5, 3/4 Time: 1m 3.21s
Breeder: Derek Veitch Breeding: Shinko Forest - Wolf Cleuch (Last Tycoon)
Tote Win: £7.30 Places: £2.80; £4.70; £10.10 Exacta:£144.10

Winning trainer:-Name: Hills, Barrington William Born: Worcester, 2/4/37;Date of first licence:1969;First winner: La Dolce Vita (Thirsk, April 18,1969) Previous Occupation: Served apprenticeship with Fred Rimell and George Colling, Head Lad with John Oxley for 10 years Classic wins: (4) UltimateBet.com 1000 Guineas (1978 Enstone Park), UltimateBet.com 2000 Guineas (1979 Tap on Wood, 2004 Haafhd), St Leger (1994 Moonax), Other major wins: Irish 1000 Guineas (1993 Nicer, 1999 Hula Angel), Irish Derby (1987 Sir Harry Lewis), Irish Oaks (1974 Dibidale, 1994 Bolas), French St Leger (1994 Moonax), Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe (1973 Rheingold), Ascot Gold Cup (1984 & 1985 Gildoran), Champion Stakes (1983 Cormorant Wood, 2002 Storming Home), Nunthorpe Stakes (1988 HandsomeSailor), Flying Childers Stakes (1987 Gallic League, 1998 Sheer Viking), Champagne Stakes (1977 Sexton Blake, 1985 Sure Blade, 1998 Auction House), Dewhurst Stakes (1988 Scenic (DH), 1996 In Command, 1999 Distant Music), Greenham Stakes (2001 Munir), MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase (1979 Cracaval, 1973 Proverb, 1999 Peshtigo, 2001 Mr Combustible), Classic Trial (2001 Chancellor), Challenge Stakes (2001 Munir), Royal Whip Stakes (2002 Chancellor), Prestige Stakes (2002 Geminiani), Cheshire Oaks (1992 Aquamarine, 1994 Bolas, 1998 High And Low, 1999 Valentine Girl), Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes (1970 Golden Monad, 1972 Our Mirage, 1973 Natsun, 1975 Ravel, 1979 Two Of Diamonds, 1985 Infantry, 1987 Sir Harry Lewis, 1989 Free Sweater, 1990 Blue Stag, 1998 Prolix, 2002 Sohaib)
Wins in a season (1987-2003): 96:93:73:113:99:63:39:44:74:84 :79:78:109:72:107:91:107 Horses in training (1984-2004):107,125,139,131,140,152,175,159,129,n/a,113,120,130,137 ,145,150,148,160,167,168, 186 Trains at South Bank Stables, Lambourn Wins this season: 17

Winning jockey:-Name: Hills, Michael Patrick.Born: Newmarket, 22/1/63 First winner: Sky Thief (Nottingham 13/8/79) Classic wins: (1) Vodafone Derby (1996 Shaamit) Other major wins include: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1996 Pentire), Prix de l'Abbaye (1988 Handsome Sailor), Irish 1,000 Guineas (1993 Nicer, 1999 Hula Angel), Dewhurst Stakes (1985 Huntingdale, 1988 Scenic, 1996 In Command, 1999 Distant Music), Ascot Gold Cup (1994 Arcadian Heights), Sussex Stakes (1996 First Island), Nunthorpe Stakes (1988 Handsome Sailor), Goodwood Cup (1992 Further Flight), Fillies’ Mile (1989 Silk Slippers), Irish Champion Stakes (1995 Pentire), Coronation Stakes (1997 Rebecca Sharp), Lockinge Stakes (1997 First Island), Haydock Sprint Cup (1997 Royal Applause), Dewhurst Stakes (1999 Distant Music), Prix Jean Prat (1999 Golden Snake), MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase (2001 Mr Combustible), Royal Whip Stakes (2002 Chancellor), Prestige Stakes (2002 Geminiani), Champion Stakes (2002 Storming Home)
Wins (1990-2003):61,65,91,86,89,73,80,84,61,94,73,58,66,58 Wins this season: 17 Other details: champion apprentice 1983

Class D, Division II, £12,000 added, for 2yo. 5f, Weights: colts & geldings 9st; fillies 8st 9lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £8,287.50; 2nd: £2,550; 3rd: £1,275; 4th: £637.50

1 TIVISKI (The Selebians) Eric Alston 2-8-09 Willie Supple [5] 12-1
2 ALPAGA LE JOMAGE (The Top Banana Partnership) Brian Meehan 2-9-00 Frankie Dettori [6] 4-6fav
3 ON THE WATERLINE (Mike Lawrence) David Evans 2-8-09 Steve Drowne [9]
4 THEATRE OF DREAMS (Dandy Nicholls) Dandy Nicholls 2-9-00 Adrian Nicholls [3]
5 PIPER LILY (David Sykes) Michael Blanshard 2-8-09 Frannie Norton [1]
6 MYTTON'S DREAM (Gordon Mytton) Alan Bailey 2-8-09 Sam Hitchcott [7]
7 SHARP N FROSTY (Mark Wood) Mark Brisbourne 2-9-00 Ted Durcan [8]

8 ran Non-runner: No 4 Gloria Nimbus (ground) and No 6 Next Time (ground)
Dist: 1 1/2, nk, hd, 2 1/2, 1 3/4, 13 Time: 1m 4.86s
Breeder: Patrick Fadden Breeding: Desert Style - Mummys Best (Bustino)
Tote Win: £11.90 Places: £3.20; £1.20 Exacta:£18.10

Winning trainer: Name: Alston, Eric James
Date of Birth:26/11/43 Date of first trainer's licence:1981 Previous occupation: Four years with Walter Wharton Major wins include: Hopeful Stakes (1993 Stack Rock), Rothmans Royals North South Challenge Series Final (1997 Gulf Shaadi); Mail On Sunday Mile Final (1997 Gulf Shaadi), Flying Five Stakes (1998 Tedburrow) Number of wins in a season (1992-20023: 12:15:20:20:26:21:29:32:28:24:23:22Horses in training (1981-2004): 2:9:12:15:19:21:20:31:24:15:16:22:24:26:24:29:23:27:33:31:32:38:29:21 Trains at Edge Farm Stables, Longton, Preston Wins this season: 12

Winning jockey:- Name: Supple, William
Born: June 8, 1968
Major wins include: Peugeot Gordon Stakes (2002 Bandari), Lockinge Stakes (1999 Fly To The Stars), Coventry Stakes (1996 Verglas)
Wins (1998-2003): 0; -; 49; 73; 67; 62
Other details: Has ridden in Dubai since 1994, where he was champion in 1997/8, 1998/9, rode as stable jockey to Eric Alston in 1999, second rider to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum since 2000
Wins This Season: 15


Trainers 1st 2nd 3rd
Bryan McMahon 2 - -
Barry Hills 1 1 1
Eric Alston 1 - -
Michael Jarvis 1 - -
Mark Wallace 1 - -
Geoff Wragg 1 - -
David Arbuthnot - 1 -
Alan Bailey - 1 -
Brian Baugh - 1 -
Clive Brittain - 1 -
Mick Channon - 1 -
Brian Meehan - 1 -
David Nicholls - - 3
David Evans - - 2
Fulke Johnson Houghton - - 1


Jockeys 1st 2nd 3rd
Graham Gibbons 2 - -
Michael Hills 1 1 1
Ted Durcan 1 1 -
Kieren Fallon 1 - -
Philip Robinson 1 - -
Willie Supple 1 - -
Darryll Holland - 1 1
Frankie Dettori - 1 -
Joe Fanning - 1 -
Sam Hitchcott - 1 -
Jimmy Quinn - 1 -
Kevin Darley - - 2
Steve Carson - - 1
Steve Drowne - - 1
Adrian Nicholls - - 1

ROLL OF HONOUR 1980-2003

2003 DUTCH GOLD 3-8-10 Sheikh Marwan Al Maktoum Clive Brittain Frankie Dettori 13/2
2002 FIGHT YOUR CORNER 3-8-10 Greenland Park Ltd Mark Johnston Kevin Darley 9/2
2001 MR COMBUSTIBLE 3-8-10 Dick Bonnycastle Barry Hills Michael Hills 12/1
2000 MILLENARY 3-8-10 Neil Jones John Dunlop Pat Eddery 8/1
1999 PESHTIGO 3-8-10 Maktoum Al Maktoum Barry Hills Michael Hills 14/1
1998 GULLAND 3-8-10 Mollers Racing Geoff Wragg Michael Hills 1/2 Fav
1997 PANAMA CITY 3-8-10 Robert Sangster Peter Chapple-Hyam John Reid 6/5 Fav
1996 HIGH BAROQUE 3-8-10 Michael Tabor Peter Chapple-Hyam John Reid 11/4
1995 LUSO 3-8-10 Saeed Manana Clive Brittain Michael Kinane 11/1
1994 BROADWAY FLYER 3-8-10 Mrs S Bosher John Hills Michael Hills 4/5 Fav
1993 ARMIGER 3-8-11 Khalid Abdulla Henry Cecil Pat Eddery 4/6 Fav
1992 TWIST AND TURN 3-8-11 Sheikh Mohammed Henry Cecil Steve Cauthen 13/8 Fav
1991 TOULON 3-8-11 Khalid Abdulla Andre Fabre FR Pat Eddery 9/4
1990 BELMEZ 3-8-11 Sheikh Mohammed Henry Cecil Steve Cauthen 8/13 Fav
1989 OLD VIC 3-8-11 Sheikh Mohammed Henry Cecil Steve Cauthen 6/4
1988 UNFUWAIN 3-8-11 Hamdan Al Maktoum Neil Graham Willie Carson 1/3 Fav
1987 DRY DOCK 3-8-11 Dick Hollingsworth Dick Hern Willie Carson 11/2
1986 NOMROOD 3-8-12 Fahd Salman Paul Cole Richard Quinn 11/2
1985 LAW SOCIETY 3-8-12 Stavros Niarchos Vincent O'Brien IRE Pat Eddery 5/2
1984 KAYTU 3-8-08 Rabi Khan Dick Hern Willie Carson 11/2
1983 Abandoned due to waterlogging
1982 SUPER SUNRISE 3-8-12 J Maxwell Gavin Hunter Paul Cook 10/1
1981 SHERGAR 3-8-12 H H Aga Khan Michael Stoute Walter Swinburn 4/11 Fav
1980 HENBIT 3-8-12 Mrs Etti Plesch Dick Hern Willie Carson Evens Fav
The Group Three £65,000 MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase moves to the second day of Chester’s famous May meeting this year (Thursday, May 6) and is one of the most significant trials for the Epsom Derby and the St Leger at Doncaster.

In addition to its status as a classic trial, the race, run over 12 furlongs and 66 yards, has proved a very good guide to future success in a whole host of high-class races.

Henbit took in the 1980 Chester Vase, with subsequent St Leger hero Light Cavalry back in third, prior to going on to success in the Derby the following month for Dick Hern and Willie Carson.

A year later the Derby winner also won the Chester Vase. The 1981 Chester Vase victor was the greatest in the history of the Group Three event - Shergar. After scoring by 12 lengths at Chester, the Aga Khan’s colt took the Derby by a record 10 lengths and showed himself to be one of the all-time greats with further breathtaking victories in the Irish Derby and Ascot’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

Four years later in 1985 the Chester Vase again demonstrated its value as an excellent guide to future success when Law Society, trained in Ireland by the legendary Vincent O’Brien, came home two and a half lengths clear of Petoski. Law Society went on to chase home Slip Anchor in the Derby before being successful in the Irish version at the Curragh. Petoski also proved that he was a Group One performer of note when landing the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

Unfuwain was victorious in the 1988 Chester Vase and progressed to win Newmarket’s Princess of Wales’s Stakes as well as coming second in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

The 1989 renewal of the Chester Vase saw a new star burst on to the scene in the form of the Henry Cecil-trained Old Vic. The Sadler’s Wells colt proved two and a half lengths too good for Golden Pheasant on the Roodee before going on to capture both the French and Irish Derbys, which led to him being crowned the champion three-year-old colt in Europe. The runner-up Golden Pheasant also proved to be a top performer, landing the Group Two Prix Niel at Longchamp (where he had Nashwan back in third place), the Grade One Arlington Million in Chicago and the Group One Japan Cup.

In 1990 the Chester Vase proved to be a similarly informative contest. Belmez, trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Steve Cauthen, beat Quest For Fame by a length. The winner was forced to miss Epsom through a minor injury but Quest For Fame went on to win the Derby for Roger Charlton, then in his first season of training. Belmez subsequently proved that he was a colt of the highest class when finishing third in the Irish Derby and defeating his stable companion Old Vic in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

There was a French success in the 1991 Chester Vase when Andre Fabre sent over Toulon, the subsequent winner of the final classic of the season, the St Leger at Doncaster.

The value of the Chester Vase as a trial for the St Leger was emphasised in 1994 when Broadway Flyer defeated Moonax by five lengths. The two colts met one another again at Doncaster but this time it was Moonax that came out ahead for trainer Barry Hills, with Broadway Flyer, trained by his son John, having to settle for second place.

Clive Brittain’s Luso caused an upset when taking the 1995 Chester Vase, although there was certainly no fluke about his victory as he went on to land the Italian Derby and two renewals of the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin. Singspiel, the favourite that day, could only finish fourth at Chester but became an international superstar with victories in races such as the Canadian International, Japan Cup and Dubai World Cup.

Four years ago another subsequent St Leger victor proved successful in the Chester Vase when the John Dunlop-trained Millenary came home in front, while the 2001 winner Mr Combustible went on to run a fine race to finish fourth in the Derby.

Fight Your Corner, triumphant in 2002, was subsequently fifth the Epsom classic while last year’s hero, Dutch Gold, led for much of the way in the Derby before coming home in sixth place.


Barry Hills lives up to his ‘Mr Chester’ reputation with four winners in total, and 20 runners since 1984, in the MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase. He runs Isidore Bonheur tomorrow.

Sir Michael Stoute, represented by Roehampton this year, has also supported the classic trial consistently well. He sent out the mighty Shergar to success in 1981 and has had 11 representatives since 1984.

Geoff Wragg provided the 1998 winner Gulland and has his first runner since with Graham Island while John Gosden, who had the 2003 second Summerland, tries to go one better with Privy Seal

Michael Bell, who saddles Temple Place, is aiming for a change of luck in the MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase. His five runners have resulted in two seconds (Ivan Luis in 1997 and Snowstorm four years later), two thirds (Persian Brave in 1993 and Maralinga two seasons later) and a fourth in 1999 for Housemaster who crossed the line first but was demoted for interference to Lightning Arrow inside the final furlong.

Both Richard Price (Red Lancer) and Brian Meehan (Zouave) are having their first runners in the
MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase.


2003 KRIS KIN 3-8-08 Saeed Suhail Sir Michael Stoute Fergal Lynch 20/1
2002 SOHAIB 3-8-08 Hamdan Al Maktoum Barry Hills Richard Hills 9/2
2001 DR GREENFIELD 3-8-08 Team Valor Gerard Butler Kieren Fallon 11/4
2000 MERRY MERLIN 3-8-08 Sir Thomas Pilkington Michael Bell Richard Quinn 25/1
1999 OATH 3-8-08 The Thoroughbred Corporation Henry Cecil Kieren Fallon 2/1 Fav
1998 PROLIX 3-8-08 Khalid Abdulla Barry Hills Darryll Holland 5/2
1997 CRYSTAL HEARTED 3-8-08 Christine Poland Henry Candy Tony McGlone 9/2
1996 PRIZE GIVING 3-8-08 Lady Oppenheimer Geoff Wragg Michael Hills 9/4 Fav
1995 PENTIRE 3-8-13 Mollers Racing Geoff Wragg Michael Hills 9/4
1994 CICERAO 3-8-11 Ivan Allan Henry Cecil Walter Swinburn 2/1 Fav
1993 BENEFICIAL 3-8-10 Exors of the late Sir Robin McAlpine Geoff Wragg Michael Hills 5/2 Fav
1992 MY MEMOIRS 3-9-02 Amity Finance Ltd Richard Hannon John Reid 10/1
1991 HUNDRA 3-8-08 Yahya Nasib Paul Kelleway Bruce Raymond 25/1
1990 BLUE STAG 3-8-12 Robert Sangster Barry Hills Willie Carson 9/2
1989 FREE SWEATER 3-8-08 R J McAlpine Barry Hills Michael Hills 5/1
1988 CLIFTON CHAPEL 3-8-12 Charles Cyzer Steve Norton John Lowe 11/2
1987 SIR HARRY LEWIS 3-8-12 Howard Kaskel Barry Hills Cash Asmussen 7/1
1986 FARAWAY DANCER 3-8-12 Peter Burrell Henry Cecil Steve Cauthen 4/5 Fav
1985 INFANTRY 3-8-08 Robert Sangster Barry Hills Brent Thomson 16/1
1984 TRIAL BY ERROR 3-8-12 S Fradkoff Luca Cumani Darryll McHargue 9/2
1983 Abandoned due to waterlogging
1982 IVANO 3-8-12 Carlo d’Alessio Henry Cecil Lester Piggott 8/11 Fav
1981 KIRTLING 3-8-12 Eric Moller Harry Wragg Lester Piggott 3/1
1980 PLAYBOY JUBILEE 3-8-08 J Skillen Frankie Durr Philip Robinson 16/1

The Group Three £70,000 Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes, run over 10 furlongs and 75 yards, is held on the final day of Chester’s historic May Meeting (Friday, May 7) and provides an ideal opportunity for unexposed colts to show their true potential.

The 2003 renewal was won by Kris Kin, who captured the Derby the following month from 19 rivals. He was the second Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes winner in the last five years to go on to victory in the world’s premier classic.

The 1980 winner Playboy Jubilee might not have been anything out of the ordinary but the horse he beat at Chester, Prince Bee, collected victories in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, Great Voltigeur Stakes at York and the Prix Niel at Longchamp in France.

Kirtling, the 1981 Dee Stakes victor, was unfortunate to be around in the same year as Shergar but was still able to record a Group One success when taking the Premio d’Italia in Milan. He also finished fourth to Shergar in the Irish Derby.

Infantry, the 1985 Dee Stakes winner, was fourth behind Law Society in the Irish Derby while Faraway Dancer, triumphant at Chester in 1986, went on to take fourth place to Shahrastani in the Derby.

Sir Harry Lewis, triumphant for Chester specialist Barry Hills in 1987, also came fourth in the Derby before improving further still to win the Irish Derby at the Curragh.

The 1990 Dee Stakes proved a classic pointer with the winner Blue Stag only finding Chester Vase second Quest for Fame too good in the Derby, while the runner-up Saumarez won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe later in the season.

Geoff Wragg, another trainer with an excellent record at Chester, sent out Beneficial to success in 1993 with the Barry Hills-trained Blues Traveller four lengths back in second. Beneficial did not contest any of the classics but triumphed in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. Blues Traveller ran in the Derby, belying his 150/1 odds to finish a fine third to Commander In Chief.

Wragg enjoyed further success in the 1995 Dee Stakes when Pentire defeated Sanoosea by a length and a quarter. Like Beneficiary, Pentire did not run in a classic, but went on to take the King Edward VII Stakes, Great Voltigeur Stakes and Irish Champion Stakes that season, as well as finishing second to Lammtarra in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot - a race he would win as a four-year-old in 1996.

Henry Cecil was represented by the promising colt Oath in 1999, who produced a dazzling display at Chester to defeat Little Rock by five lengths. He then headed to Epsom and won the Derby in stylish fashion.

Three years ago, Dr Greenfield just got the better of Grandera by half a length. Grandera was subsequently purchased by Godolphin, for whom he landed Group One races like the Singapore Airlines International Cup, Ascot’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.


Barry Hills has won the Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes an amazing 11 times, sending out 19 runners since 1984 - he loves Chester and has Mutawassel representing him on Friday.

Sir Michael Stoute deserved a first victory after saddling 10 runners since 1984 and gained it last year courtesy of subsequent Vodafone Derby winner Kris Kin. He goes for a second with unbeaten Always First, the mount of Kieren Fallon.

Paul Cole has had seven Dee Stakes runners since 1984 , including four seconds, and he saddles Putra Sas.

John Dunlop, who has supported the Dee Stakes consistently since 1997 with five representatives including three seconds, aims to get off the mark in the classic trial with Mutahayya on Friday.

David Loder, who runs Andean, had the 1997 third in Teofilio while Peter Chapple-Hyam, successful twice in the MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase, aims for his first Dee Stakes winner with rapidly-improving African Dream.

Betdaq Ormonde Stakes

The 1990 running of the Group Three Betdaq Ormonde Stakes, run over an extended 13 furlongs, went to the Alec Stewart-trained Braashee, who ran on well in the final furlong under Michael ‘Mouse’ Roberts to deny Michelozzo by three lengths.

A week later the Sadler’s Wells colt followed up in the Yorkshire Cup at York and he ended a fine campaign with victory at the highest level in the Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp at the end of October.

The following season Per Quod was a length too powerful for Warm Feeling for trainer Ben Hanbury. He had scored in a Group Two event at Capannelle the previous season.

Saddlers’ Hall justified odds-on favouritism in 1992 in fine fashion, coming home 10 lengths ahead of Arcadian Heights without the recently-retired Pat Eddery having to work too hard for his fee.The following month Michael Stoute’s charge gained the biggest success of his career when winning the Vodafone Coronation Cup at Epsom by three quarters of a length from Rock Hopper.

The Clive Brittain-trained Shambo became a dual winner of this heat in 1993 and 1994, when running in the colours of the handler’s wife Maureen, who also bred the Lafontaine horse. His first success at the Roodee provided Roberts with his second victory in the nineties, when crossing the line a length ahead of Allegan. The margin was slimmer in 1994, when he got the better of a fine tussle with Shrewd Idea by a short head.

Stoute had his second success of the 1990s when Zilzal Zamaan denied Shambo a third success by one and a quarter lengths in 1995.

The following season Oscar Schindler became the most recent Irish-trained victor when prevailing for Kevin Prendergast by one and a half lengths from Election Day under Mick Kinane. Just over a month later he won the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot before becoming a classic winner in the Irish St Leger at the Curragh - he went on to score in this latter contest the following year as well.

Peter Chapple-Hyam, who recently returned to train in Britain having worked in Hong Kong for the past few seasons, saddled Royal Court to success in 1997 for locally-born owner Robert Sangster, a great supporter of Chester who died last month.

The following year Venetia Williams, better known for her expertise with jumpers, gained a surprise victory here when Stretarez scored at odds of 25/1 by a neck from Palio Sky. He had previously won a number of Listed and Group events when trained in France.

Pat Eddery scored on the John Dunlop-trained Sadian in 1999, leading near the finish to beat Secret Saver by a neck in another thrilling climax while Sir Michael Stoute was on the scoresheet again in 2000 when Daliapour benefitted from the strength of Kieren Fallon to hold Life Is Life by three-quarters of a length. The four-year-old subsequently won two top-class events that term - the Vodafone Coronation Cup and the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December.

Since Daliapour’s victory, this event has been dominated by Geoff Wragg and veteran owner John Pearce, who have taken the last three runnings courtesy of St Expedit in 2001 and 2002 and Asian Heights last season, all ridden by Darryll Holland.

The first year that St Expedit struck, he made all and was soon clear to beat Pairumani Star by 10 lengths. The following year he again made all but did not have things nearly so easy, being driven out to take the plaudits by a length from Sagittarius. Last year Asian Heights gained his first victory since disappointing in the previous season’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, holding on by a length and a quarter from Compton Bolter at Chester.

Year Winner Age/Wgt Trainer Owner Jockey Odds Runners
2003 Asian Heights 5-9-00 Geoff Wragg John Pearce Darryll Holland Evs f 7
2002 St Expedit 5-8-11 Geoff Wragg John Pearce Darryll Holland 11/8 f 6
2001 St Expedit 4-8-11 Geoff Wragg John Pearce Darryll Holland 5/2 f 5
2000 Daliapour 4-8-11 Sir Michael Stoute H H Aga Khan Kieren Fallon 11/8 f 9
1999 Sadian 4-9-00 John Dunlop Prince A A Faisal Pat Eddery 2/1 f 7
1998 Stretarez 5-9-02 Venetia Williams Winning Line Racing Ltd Kevin Darley 25/1 6
1997 Royal Court 4-8-11 Peter Chapple-Hyam Robert Sangster John Reid 9/4 f 7
1996 Oscar Schindler 4-8-11 Kevin Prendergast IRE Oliver Lehane Mick Kinane 11/4 7
1995 Zilzal Zamaan 4-8-11 Michael Stoute Mana Al Maktoum Walter Swinburn 9/2 4
1994 Shambo 7-9-02 Clive Brittain Maureen Brittain Michael Roberts 6/1 8
1993 Shambo 6-9-02 Clive Brittain Maureen Brittain Michael Roberts 7/1 5
1992 Saddler’s Hall 4-9-02 Michael Stoute Lord Weinstock Pat Eddery 4/11 f 7
1991 Per Quod 6-8-11 Ben Hanbury H Turney McKnight Bruce Raymond 5/1 7
1990 Braashee 4-8-11 Alec Stewart Maktoum Al Maktoum Michael Roberts 6/1 6

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