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Saturday 10 December 2016

O'Brien rich with precious oaks gem

Diamondsandrubies
Diamondsandrubies

The opening day of Chester's May meeting provided an Irish winner who appears a potential English Oaks contender in Diamondsandrubies but another Ballydoyle Derby bubble appears to be burst following the defeat of long odds on favourite Sir Isaac Newton.

Ryan Moore continued his fine start to his more permanent association with the powerful Tipperary outfit when guiding Diamondsandrubies to a rather comprehensive success in the Arkle Finance Chesire Oaks and her six-length victory saw the daughter of Fastnet Rock slashed into 10/1 for the next English Classic at Epsom next month.

Moore, who was clearly impressed with the filly who is likely to have the Oaks as her next assignment, said: "I had a nice run round and she travelled very easily.

"They didn't go that quick, but when I asked her she quickened like a smart filly and we're real pleased with her.

"For a big filly, she's gone round there very easily."

However, there was to be disappointment later on the card for the Ballydoyle outfit when Sir Isaac Newton, failed to open his account at the second time of asking when being overturned in the 10-furlong maiden at odds of 1/6.

Beaten by Dermot Weld's Zawraq at Leopardstown on his sole start last season, this looked a very straightforward task but the favourite was denied by Tom Dascombe trained Cymro who was finishing at the sixth time of asking.

O'Brien continues his assault on Chester today and tomorrow with Hans Holbein lining up in the Chester Vase today and Smuggler's Cove will bid to give the champion trainer a fourth consecutive win in the Dee Stakes tomorrow afternoon.

Smuggler's Cove faces six rivals in the Derby trial including the Barry Hills trained Nafaqa and it will be interesting to see if the Ballydoyle team can end the week on more of a high.

Other Irish interest on the final day of the meeting comes from Willie McCreery who will have two runners and Gordon Elliott who sends over just the one.

Group One winning trainer McCreery brings Connor King over for recent Tipperary winner Colour Blue to contest the opening Betfair Earl Grosvenor Handicap and with the ground starting to get on the softer side by the end of racing yesterday, the four-year-old filly could well have a real live hope as she's been handed the plum draw of stall three.

McCreery's other runner will also be ridden by King and also finds herself in stall three as Rivers Of Babylon lines up in the LDF Maiden Fillies Stakes for which 11 are due to post.

Gordon Elliott gives Kerry youngster Jack Kennedy his first ride on the racecourse at Clonmel later this evening and the former pony racing champion will have an incredible experience as just his second ride on the track will come in the concluding Betway Apprentice Handicap tomorrow afternoon.

There looked certain to be an Irish winner of yesterday's feature at the track when Tony Martin's well supported favourite Quick Jack settled down to fight out the Chester Cup with Dermot Weld's Zafayan.

However, just as Quick Jack was getting the better of that tussle under Richard Hughes, Trip To Paris and Graham Lee swooped wide and late to land the spoils for the former jump jockey and trainer Ed Dunlop.

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