tote+ Chester Cup
|Heritage Handicap 15:15
2m 2f 140y, Class 2
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1 Cleveland 6/1
2 Coltrane 9/2
3 Rajinsky 6/1
14 ran NR: Byron Flyer, Metier, Nate The Great
Distances: nk, 1¼l, 1¼l Time: 4m 4.13s (slow by 0.43s)
Ryan Moore capped an exceptional week, partnering his eighth winner of the May Festival, as he guided the lightly-raced Cleveland to a narrow success.
It was the four-year-old Camelot colt’s first outing beyond 10 furlongs and just his fifth start in total.
Moore took a brave route in the two-and-a-quarter-mile showpiece, sticking to the inside rail on the notoriously tight track, content to sit in the pack for the majority of the two circuits before angling out at the top of the finishing straight in search of a run.
Coltrane had already set sail for home, but when Cleveland found space he accelerated in fine style for Moore, moving upsides with half a furlong to run before shading it by a neck on the line – a fifth win in as many Chester runners for O’Brien this week.
Rajinsky was third, with another Irish raider Arcadian Sunrise fourth. Last year’s winner Falcon Eight kept on from the back to finish fifth under top-weight.
Moore said: “He made a nice enough comeback over 10 furlongs, but the quicker ground today would have helped him.
“He was still a little bit of a baby going around there, but he hasn’t had many runs. We didn’t have a lot of room, but he was able to pick his way through.
“I always felt like I was going to win if I could find the right gaps and got enough space.
“Maybe it wasn’t the best Chester Cup ever run, but I’m delighted to have won.”
On his unstoppable run on the Roodee, which has included all three Classic trials on O’Brien-trained horses, Moore added: “It’s been a good week, the horses have been running great, they have been all year in fairness and there’s a lot to look forward to, hopefully.”
Kevin Buckley, Coolmore’s UK representative, said: “It’s been an incredible week, that tops it all. I’m stuck for words.
“It’s incredible, isn’t it? It’s unreal, I’m kind of lost for words.
“We weren’t fully sure whether he’d be able to last out that trip, which clearly he did. He’s a fine-looking horse and the fact he was kept in training was indicative that he (O’Brien) had seen something early on.
“I always love coming to Chester in any case, but this week has been simply stunning. To win both Derby trials, the Oaks trial and to top it off with the Chester Cup is simply sensational.
“What Aidan has done with this horse is incredible, he hadn’t run for over 500 days before he ran at Naas and now he’s just won the Chester Cup on just the fifth run of his life.”
Chester Cup Heritage Handicap
£151,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m 2f 140y, Class 2
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
POS. DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 (10) Cleveland 4 9-0 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 6/1
2 (2) nk Coltrane 5 8-12 Andrew Balding Rob Hornby 9/2
3 (1) 1¼ Rajinsky 6 9-3 3ex Hugo Palmer Harry Davies 6/1
4 (5) 1¼ Arcadian Sunrise 8 9-0 John Queally Jamie Spencer 6/1
5 (6) 2¼ Falcon Eight 7 9-12 D K Weld Frankie Dettori 9/2J
6 (13) hd Torcello 8 8-9 Shaun Lycett Franny Norton 80/1
7 (15) 1¾ It's Good To Laugh 5 8-11 Jennie Candlish Connor Beasley 14/1
8 (4) nk Land Of Winter 6 8-8 Rae Guest George Rooke 25/1
9 (14) 1¼ The Grand Visir 8 9-4 Ian Williams Jim Crowley 18/1
10 (3) 6 Reshoun 8 9-1 Ian Williams Alistair Rawlinson 40/1
11 (7) nk Solent Gateway 4 8-6 2 Hugo Palmer Ben Curtis 13/2
12 (11) nk Morph Speed 6 8-8 Richard John O'Brien Sean Davis 25/1
13 (8) 9 Haliphon 5 8-5 Ian Williams Royston Ffrench 18/1
14 (16) 10 Solo Saxophone 8 8-7 2 Alex Hales J F Egan 125/1
NR 17 (17) Byron Flyer 11 8-3 Ian Williams NON RUNNER
NR 9 (12) Nate The Great 6 8-11 Andrew Balding NON RUNNER
NR 15 (9) Metier 6 8-6 Harry Fry NON RUNNER