Racegoers enjoyed a fine warm evening, with the course watered to provide good to firm going. Early arrivals could watch a 7f handicap for Arabian horses, which was won by Conquer, ridden by the leading amateur rider Mr Simon Walker.
Thoroughbred racing got under way at 6.15 with another 7f race, won by David Evans’s Harry Beau (2/1 fav). Prominent in the first half of the race, he went on three out and was soon clear, giving Rossa Ryan an armchair ride as he coasted home seven lengths ahead of Field Of Vision. It was his third win in seven weeks, and was run in a fast time.
The three market leaders finished out of the frame in the 7f race for two-year-olds. Stan Moore’s debutant Hope Again (50/1) started slowly and was distinctly last till halfway, yet with no visible effort he came from last to first, went over two and a half lengths ahead and maintained the advantage all the way to the line. John Fahy was the successful pilot. Another first-timer, Loving Pearl, finished in a clear second place in a manner that bodes well for her future.
From this point many racegoers were also keeping an eye on England’s World Cup game against Colombia.
The penalised Shaybani (7/4) won here on soft going over five furlongs and showed his versatility today by winning over six on fast ground. Down the field at Royal Ascot, back in his own class he was game holding off the pretty grey Showout – another to make a pleasing debut effort – in an entertaining duel over the last quarter of a mile. Finley Marsh got him home by a neck to give Richard Hughes an across-the-card double after a winner in the last at Brighton. The faster than standard time suggests the form is good.
The 7f start was in use again for the next race. John Flint’s Air Of York (6/1) had already scored twice this season and ten times in all before today, so he was a great deal more used to winning than many others in the field. William Cox steered him to the stands rail before leading a furlong out and going two lengths clear with some ease. Wild Dancer kept on well for second.
At Brighton this afternoon Luke Morris rode the winner of the 4.00 for Sir Mark Prescott, a middle-distance three-year-old handicapper, and it was the same outcome in Chepstow’s 8.15. Final Rock (7/4 fav) made all the running and once urged into a clear lead around a quarter of a mile from home nothing else could get in a blow. Colenso who followed the favourite in, four and a half lengths behind.
Morris and Sir Mark were on the mark again half an hour later with another horse in the same mould, Timoshenko (6/1). He was in the front rank throughout this mile and a half contest and made a decisive move into the lead two out. He looked a little green as Morris drove him with a vigorous hands and heels ride to a one length success over Master Grey.
A two mile handicap ended the day. Two out Johnny Murtagh’s Irish raider Circling Moon (5/4 fav) came to challenge Smashed, who had made a lot of the running. To the surprise of favourite’s supporters, Smashed proved tough to get past and he kept on valiantly, drawing an all out effort from the Irish runner to win by a short head. Jockey Tom Madden was riding at Chepstow for the first time.