Chester May Festival: Hamish stamps class on Ormonde Stakes rivals with victory for William Haggas on first start of season | Racing News


Hamish defied a penalty and a long lay-off to run out a good winner of the Group Three Ormonde Stakes at Chester’s May Festival, as favourite Albaflora flopped.

The William Haggas-trained six-year-old appears to have had plenty of off-course issues, making to the track just once in 2020 and just three times last year.

Making his first competitive appearance since November, Hamish was a 9/2 shot under Tom Marquand, with Ralph Beckett’s mare Albaflora all the rage as the 10/11 favourite, following two high-class performances in Group One company to end last season.

Franny Norton on Thunderous took the field along, but Hamish picked up well to beat the pacemaker by three-quarters of a length, with Alounak in third, John Leeper fourth and Albaflora only fifth.

Speaking to Sky Sports Racing, Marquand said: “He’s done really well to win because I had to give a cheap length away turning in to go in rather than out and it can be pretty tough.

“To win after a lay-off is a great effort by everyone around him. He’s a character and tests everyone around him. Thankfully, everything has been rewarded.

“It’s great to get the job done on big days.”

William Haggas
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Haggas landed his first winner of this year’s Chester May Festival

Reflecting on Hamish’s win, analyst Kevin Blake added: “He’s clearly very difficult to train but when he’s right, he’s very right.

“He’s come from a long way back in a race where Franny Norton was allowed to do what he liked on Thunderous and quickly set a gallop.

“Albaflora over raced in the middle part of the race and paid the price late on.

“Hamish was the one that picked up Thunderous and picked up close home. It was a smart performance.”

Star Of India lands Dee Stakes

Ryan Moore and Star Of India lead home the Dee Stakes field
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Ryan Moore and Star Of India lead home the Dee Stakes field

Trainer Aidan O’Brien continued his dominance of Chester’s Dee Stakes as Star Of India warmed up for a potential shot at the Derby with a commanding victory in the Listed contest.

Sent off as 6/4 favourite, despite significant support for main market rival Mr McCann – owned by Liverpool stars such as Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Milner – Ryan Moore’s mount tracked the pace set by Mr McCann and hit the front as the long-time leader gave way.

O’Brien’s son of Galileo was stepping up to a-mile-and-a-quarter for the first time, having finished down in fifth in the Craven last time out, but showed no sign of stopping as he hit the line two lengths clear of Martyn Meade’s late-rallying Cresta and the Charlie Hills-trained Sonny Liston.

It is O’Brien’s seventh Dee Stakes victory in the last ten renewals of the race. Sky Bet cut Star Of India to 16/1 from 33’s for next month’s Epsom Classic.

Pride Of America blows apart rivals

Trainer Amy Murphy enjoyed another big winner as Pride Of America romped home in the Boodles Raindance Handicap under a front-running ride from Silvestre de Sousa.

Starting a well-backed 3/1 shot, the five-year-old – making his third start for Murphy since a move from Harry Dunlop came home five-and-a-half lengths clear of Ivan Furtado’s Desert Emperor.

Murphy told Sky Sports Racing: “We’re so lucky to have been sent him and I’m delighted to have been able to repay them with a good winner like this on a day they can enjoy.

“Him and Silvestre are a match made in heaven because he loves to bowl along and that’s Silvestre all over.

“It’s great for a team of our size to have a winner on a big day like this.”

Look Out Louis on the way to victory at Chester's May Festival
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Look Out Louis on the way to victory at Chester’s May Festival

Look Out Louis rolled back the years to gain another success in the ICM Stellar Sports Handicap.

The six-year-old, who joined Julie Camacho from Tim Easterby in October 2020, has seemingly found a new lease of life this spring and proved his battling qualities to hold off a late run from Count D’orsay.

Outgate beats Koy Koy in front of a packed crowd on Ladies Day at Chester
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Outgate beats Koy Koy in front of a packed crowd on Ladies Day at Chester

After a treble on day one of the May Festival, Ryan Moore quickly picked up where he left off with victory on Daniel and Claire Kubler’s Outgate in the Deepbridge Handicap.

The 9/4 favourite settled just behind the leader Value Theory, when they reached the cutaway in the straight Moore had plenty of horse underneath him to be able to strike for home, beating Koy Koy by a length.





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