Betway Chester Cup
Heritage Handicap 15:10
£120,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 2f 147y, Class 2   
Wednesday 4th May 2016

1 No Heretic 11/1
2 Nakeeta 20/1
3 Silver Concorde 5/1
4 Gabrial The Hero 12/1
NR: English Summer, Moonrise Landing (IRE)
17 ran Distances: shd, 1¼l, 1¼l
TIME 4m 10.48s (slow by 9.48s)

No Heretic ridden by Jamie Spencer beats Nakeeta to take the Chester Cup in a photo finish

No Heretic
© Racehorse Photos
No Heretic

Top jumps trainer Nicky Henderson poached another top Flat prize as No Heretic and Jamie Spencer narrowly deny Nakeeta and Royston Ffrench.

John Reel took the field along at fairly sedate fractions until Adam Kirby tried to quicken on with half a mile to run, but it appeared that favourite Steve Rogers was perfectly positioned just in behind.

However, as is so often the case, the picture of the race changed dramatically once the field fanned out into the short home straight and Jamie Spencer pounced aboard No Heretic, formerly a smart performer on the level for David Simcock, but in the care of Henderson when making a belated hurdling debut at Newbury last month.

With Henderson choosing instead to head to Kelso, and the owners also otherwise engaged, it was not obvious whether this contest had always been the plan, but No Heretic got the better of a brief tussle with Nakeeta for a short-head verdict at 11/1.

Silver Concorde (5/1) and Gabrial The Hero (12/1), both forced to come from some way off the pace, made late gains to fill out the frame.

Successful jockey Spencer said: "That's only his second run since 2013. To win a Chester Cup is a tremendous training performance. He's got the job done.

"He's always been a good horse. He's just not been sound. The vets have done a great job to get him back.

"You hold your breath to find out where you're drawn in this race. If you get a nice draw [No Heretic was drawn in stall four] it makes a lot easier and I'm just delighted."

Spencer said he'd received pre-race instructions from Henderson, but added: "He seemed more interested in his runner in the bumper at Kelso - what that tells you about how confident he was I don't know, but maybe we'll know more in a couple of hours' time."

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Betway Chester Cup Heritage Handicap
£120,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 2f 147y, Class 2
17 ran
Going: Good (Good to Soft in places)

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (4) No Heretic 11/1 J P Spencer
N J Henderson 8
2nd (15) s.h Nakeeta 20/1 R Ffrench
I Jardine 5
3rd (9) Silver Concorde 5/1 P J Smullen
D K Weld 8
4th (12) Gabrial The Hero (USA) 12/1 P Hanagan
R A Fahey 7
5th (17) ½ Gabrial's King (IRE) 22/1 George Chaloner
R A Fahey 7
6th (16) hd Quick Jack (IRE) 8/1 R L Moore
A J Martin 7
7th (10) s.h Totalize 20/1 Callum Shepherd (5)
B Ellison 7
8th (18) Angel Gabrial (IRE) 33/1 James Doyle
R A Fahey 7
9th (2) nk Gang Warfare 8/1 R Havlin
S Crisford 5
10th (7) Le Maitre Chat (USA) 12/1 F Norton
Ian Williams 5
11th (1) Venue 33/1 T Eaves
D McCain Jnr 6
12th (3) ½ Steve Rogers (IRE) 7/2f Andrea Atzeni
R Varian 5
13th (5) John Reel (FR) 10/1 A Kirby
P D Evans 7
14th (8) Duke Of Clarence (IRE) 33/1 D Nolan
R A Fahey 7
15th (11) Min Alemarat (IRE) 66/1 D Allan
T D Easterby 5
16th (6) 7 Heartbreak City (FR) 14/1 D O'Brien (5)
A J Martin 6
17th (14) 38 William Of Orange 20/1 G Lee
D McCain Jnr 5
NR (19) Moonrise Landing (IRE) 14/1 Non Runner
R M Beckett 5
NR (13) English Summer 20/1 Non Runner
R A Fahey 9