Jabbarockie rolls to Chester success

Jabbarockie displayed his customary speed from the gate and made every yard of the running to win the Satchell Moran Solicitors Business Interruption Claims Handicap at Chester.

Eric Alston’s veteran may be an eight-year-old now, but he has looked better than ever in his two races to date this season and the form book backs that up.

A winner at Musselburgh by just a short head in the Scottish Sprint Cup, he was 3lb higher this time but once he took full advantage of his plum draw in stall one, the race was effectively over and he beat Count D’Orsay by a length and a quarter.

Jason Hart was on board after his intended mount Lord Riddiford was a non runner. He replaced Harrison Shaw.

“When you get drawn one around here it makes life a hell of a lot easier,” said Hart of the 5-2 winner.

“He winged the gates and I was able to fill up more than I thought, I thought I’d have a lot more pressure for the lead.

“He’s getting quicker this horse and he’s staying the trip out well. Eric does great with his sprinters and I felt he’d improved a hell of a lot from Musselburgh.”

Richard Fahey’s Master Zoffany quickened up impressively to win the Deepbridge Estate Planning Service Handicap.

There were plenty in with chances entering the short straight, but Paul Hanagan’s mount surged two and three-quarter lengths clear at 11-1.

“He’d have been unlucky if he hadn’t won, so we’re happy enough with that, (and) the ground probably helped us,” said Fahey.

“I just wanted him to run well today, so there’s no master plan. It looked a warm race to me, so I’ll go home and have a think.”

Baryshnikov (white silks) won a thriller at Chester
Baryshnikov (white silks) won a thriller at Chester (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Fahey came close to completing a double in the Destination 2 Handicap, with Spirit Dancer cutting out much of the running in the colours of part-owner Sir Alex Ferguson.

But try as he might, he could not shake off fellow 5-1 joint-favourite Baryshnikov, who finished with a flourish to seal his second course victory by a short head for trainer David Barron and jockey Connor Beasley.

“He’s been in great form at home – the boss and the team have been very happy with him,” said Beasley.

“He seems to thrive when he comes here. He’s obviously won around here in the past and travelled away lovely.

“It was a bit of a head-to-head battle up the straight, but I always felt I was getting on top.”

After spending much of the afternoon in her role as a pundit for ITV Racing, Hayley Turner jumped in the saddle to steer Mercurial to success in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.

The 13-2 shot got the better of a fellow Tom Dascombe-trained juvenile in Russellinthebushes, with 5-6 favourite Zoltan Star right on their heels in third.

Turner said: “He’s got a great attitude. He’s still a little bit colty, but he was game in the race and has done it well enough.

“He just does enough and has probably got a bit more up his sleeve. Hopefully he’ll become more professional with racing.”

Dascombe added: “I hate running horses against each other, but when people want to run in a particular race you have to run them. I’ll have one set of disappointed owners and one very happy set as well.

“You just have to expect that might happen. There was very little between them, and they were the two maidens we had ready for this meeting.

“They’ve never worked with each other, because one is a colt and the other a filly. I honestly thought the filly would win – I was nearly right!”

Mark Johnston also saddled a one-two, in the concluding Boodles Handicap, with the Franny Norton-ridden Love Is Golden (15-2) getting the better of Baileys Derbyday in a driving finish.

Johnston said: “I’m not entirely surprised by either – they were both backward horses who were crying out to be stepped up in trip.

“The winner is very well bred, and Franny said he could go further already.”