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Race Meeting Report - Friday 5th May

Fri, May 5, 2017

Chepstow’s first flat meeting of the 2017 season consisted of eight races on ground that was good to firm, good in places. It was a breezy day with sunny spells.

Moayadd (11/4 jt fav) was going for his fourth win of the year in the 1m4f handicap. Hollie Doyle brought him with a smooth run from midfield to lead a furlong and a half out, and then he was soon in control. There could be yet more improvement in Neil Mulholland’s five-year-old, who may be seen over jumps later in the year. Mazaaher, denied a run on the rails three out, ran on once in the clear to get within two lengths.

The 1m2f handicap for fillies went to Clive Cox’s recent Windsor winner Perfect Quest (10/11 fav), who also won here last August. Adam Kirby drove her into the lead two out and she ran on well to finish two lengths ahead of the staying-on Rum Swizzle, who had briefly unshipped her jockey before the race.

A late gamble was landed in the 1m2f maiden, the Owen Burrows-trained debutant Laraaib being backed from 8/1 to 11/4 favourite. Dane O’Neill, wearing the familiar blue and white Sheikh Hamdan colours, was clearly trying to be not too hard on the colt. He started his run fully three furlongs out and though he made steady progress it was only in the last 50 yards that he overtook the pace-setting Prerogative. This three-quarter length winner should go on to better things.

Money came late in the fourth race for the dependable Roy’s Legacy (11/4 fav), who had been first or second in his five most recent runs. He extended that sequence by taking the 5f sprint for older horses, hitting the front when the tearaway Powerful Wind ran out of puff with 150 yards to go. It was Roy’s 18th success from 117 starts. His usual partner Charlie Bennett rode him for trainer Shaun Harris. Silverrica, who stumbled leaving the stalls, finished well to come in three quarters of a length behind.

The pair who were slowest away in the mile handicap finished first and second. War Chief did himself no favours by hanging over towards the far side while the rest of the field stayed middle to stands side. He came in a neck behind Paul Cole’s Arctic Sea (9/2), who led a furlong out and needed vigorous driving from David Probert to stay in front.

Halfway through the 6f handicap David Probert on Zambezi Queen (8/1) made a deliberate move across to the stands side to get a clear run, and with the help of the rail took the lead inside the last quarter of a mile. She went five lengths clear without too much trouble, and although possibly flattered by the early leaders going off too fast for their own good, she won in the style of an improving filly. It was a quick double for Probert and Paul Cole. Lightoller led the rest of the field in.

Three eleven-year-olds contested the first division of the 2m handicap but they had to give best to their youngest rival, Akavit (3/1), aged only five. He made all the running and had plenty in reserve when Callum Shepherd asked for an effort three out. Once he increased his advantage to three lengths, nothing else could get in a blow and Ed de Giles’ stayer won with plenty in hand, Riptide plugging on into second place.

There was a good finish to the second division. Kashgar (9/1) led entering the final furlong and was all out to resist the challenge of Cold Fusion. With Stevie Donohoe’s assistance he held on by a neck. This won’t be the first long distance race winner here this season to be trained by Bernard Llewellyn.

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Jim Beavis