tote+ Dee Stakes
|Listed, Chester 14:15
1m 2f 70y, Class 1
|Thursday 6th May 2021|
1 El Drama 12/1
2 Maximal 4/1
3 Earlswood 8/1
7 ran Distances: 1l, 2¾l, 2l
Time: 2m 14.15s (slow by 5.15s)
Nice colt! El Drama cost 425,000 guineas as a yearling and this Derby entry impresses with victory in the Dee Stakes for @Atzenijockey and @varianstable at @ChesterRaces #BoodlesMayFest pic.twitter.com/mynY5bkZOY— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) May 6, 2021
A field of seven three-year-olds went to post for the recognised Derby trial, with Roger Varian's El Drama sixth in the betting at 12-1 on what was just his second start on turf.
Since that successful debut on soft ground at Doncaster, the Lope De Vega colt had finished third in successive races on the all-weather, but took his game to new heights on the Roodee.
After tracking the pacesetting favourite Yibir for much of the extended 10-furlong journey, El Drama was pushed into the lead rounding the home turn by Andrea Atzeni and he stayed on well to score by a length.
Maximal made late gains to fill the runner-up spot, with Earlswood third and Yibir fading into fourth place.
Varian said: “I’m very pleased with that today. He’s always shown masses at home and we were trying to funnel him into being a 2000 Guineas contender.
“Because he only ran once at two there were limited options trying to get experience into him. He ran over seven furlongs at Lingfield and a mile at Kempton, which wouldn’t be ideal spots for him. He ran with credit, but always looked a better horse on turf.
“He didn’t run well enough to take in a Guineas, but this was a nice alternative plan. We thought he’d stay 10 furlongs well and that he’d be better back on grass.
“I’m delighted that he’s done that today as we always thought him capable of something like that.
“It’s good for him to redeem his reputation.”
Varian raised the French Derby as a viable alternative to next month’s premier Classic at Epsom for his colt.
“Having spoken to Sheikh Obaid, all options are open and he’d like him to be considered for the Prix du Jockey Club,” the trainer added.
“He’s a very strong work horse, but I thought if Andrea switched him off today, the fact you are always on the turn helps them relax.
“I’m glad he’s won today – it’s given us food for thought.”
Homeserve Dee Stakes (Listed)
£60,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 2f 70y, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
POS. (DRAW) DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 (6) El Drama 3 9-0 Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni 12/1
2 (4) 1 Maximal 3 9-0 Sir Michael Stoute Richard Kingscote 4/1
3 (1) 2¾ Earlswood 3 9-0 J P Murtagh Ben Coen 8/1
4 (3) 2 Yibir 3 9-0 Charlie Appleby William Buick 5/2F
5 (5) ¾ Foxes Tales 3 9-0 Andrew Balding Silvestre De Sousa 3/1
6 (2) 8½ Luther Cee 3 9-0 Henry Spiller J F Egan 125/1
7 (7) 8 Ontario 3 9-0 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 9/2