Five things we learnt at Chester and Sandown on Friday

By Harry Allwood@H_Allwood1
Fri 15 Sep 2017

By Harry Allwood

Spud looks a Group race contender in the making:

The Tom Dascombe-trained Spud got off the mark at the second attempt in impressive fashion in the 7½f novice stakes at Chester. It might not have been the strongest race but he had it won a long way from home and won by 15 lengths eased down.

The two-year-old son of Fast Company had caught the eye on debut when he ran green before powering home to finish second in a 7f novice stakes at the same track. Dascombe said afterwards that he does not have any immediate plans for the colt but he looks capable of making an impact in Group company.

Stephensons Rocket one to follow:

Stephensons Rocket, who was sent off a 14-1 chance, ran a race full of promise in the mile novice stakes at Sandown.

The 235,000 euros yearling was caught out wide and raced exuberantly for the first two furlongs before he showed his inexperience when he hit the front two furlongs out. The two-year-old son of Teofilo finished second to the well-backed Crossed Baton who had the benefit of a recent run.

Stephensons Rocket is sure to have learnt plenty and is bred to be a better three-year-old. He looks a nice prospect.

Clive Cox continues in good form:

Clive Cox trained Harry Angel to win the Group One Sprint Cup at Haydock last weekend and continued his good run of form with a fantastic five-timer.

The Hungerford-based trainer enjoyed a double at Sandown and also a double at Doncaster, courtesy of Blue Laureate in the mile maiden and Heartache in the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes. For good measure, he also had a winner at Salisbury in the evening.

"It's the first time we've had five winners in a day, so it's great," said the trainer.

Cox has had 31 runners in the past fortnight. Fourteen have won and five have been placed. His only runner on Saturday is Grand Koonta, available at 33-1 with Stan James in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Directorship deservedly retired after an illustrious career:

The Patrick Chamings-trained Directorship ran a gallant race off a rating of 74 when fifth in the mile handicap named in his honour.

The 11-year-old, who has been trained by Chamings throughout his career, made his debut at Sandown nine years ago this month and ran 61 times.

The son of Diktat got his head in front seven times during his career, the highlight being a win in a Class 2 Handicap at Newmarket in July 2015 where he picked up a prize of £28,012.

Directorship won £95,199 in prize money during his career and was rated as high as 99 in 2013.

Alexander M shows his liking for Chester:

The Mark Johnston-trained Alexander M made all to gain his third win at Chester in the Class 3 Handicap over 1m2½f.

The three-year-old defied a 9lb rise in the handicap to fend off Native Prospect and the odds-on favourite Nathan under a masterclass ride from Chester’s leading jockey Franny Norton.

The son of Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Mastercraftsman has won four of his last seven starts and has lost only once on the Roodee this season. He is on the upgrade and, although he will have a career high mark to contend with again next time, should remain competitive.

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