Khairaat storms to victory

Jim Crowley and Khairaat impress at Chester

Review of the rest of the action from Thursday's meeting at Chester where Khairaat was an impressive winner.

Khairaat proved the betting to be spot-on as he gave a superb front-running performance to win the opening Glateley PLC Changing The Legal Landscape Handicap on day two of the Chester May meeting.

Jim Crowley was able to dictate affairs from the start as he grabbed the rail on the 10-11 favourite from his plum draw of stall one and set the fractions he wanted.

Mistiroc tried to harass Khairaat but was brushed aside when Crowley asked the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt to go and win the race.

Quickening nicely in the straight, Khairaat passed the post four and a half lengths clear of Brorocco, who put in good late work for second.

Crowley said: "He's still a lightly-raced baby and when you're making the running around here there's lots to look at.

"Really, I'd love to have taken a lead, but nobody really wanted to go and he was very professional at the business end of things.

"He picked up really well when I asked him. He's got no weight on his back with 8st 7lb.

"He's made the running and had it his way, but he's a lovely horse and did it nicely."

Richard Hills, racing adviser to winning owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, confirmed an appearance at Royal Ascot could be on the agenda.

He said: "He's a horse that we've really liked for a while and Sir Michael looked after him last year.

"He had a pretty favourable mark. They didn't go particularly fast early and he's always shown a turn of foot at home.

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"We always felt that he could turn into a nice horse as a four-year-old and we'd love to see if we can get him to Royal Ascot.

"For now 10 furlongs is his trip and we've always thought a lot of him but he's had a lot of niggly problems which he's now over.

"He's bred to handle this place as he's from the same family as Maraahel, who loved Chester."

Crowley doubled up when Mutawatheb (7-2 joint-favourite) claimed victory in the Boodles Diamond Handicap.

Masham Star almost succeeded in his quest to make all the running, but simply had no answer to the late dash of the Richard Hannon-trained colt in the hands of the champion jockey.

While there were hard-luck stories in behind, Mutawatheb grabbed the long-time leader inside the last 100 yards to score by a length and a quarter.

Areen Heart finished well for third, just a short head away.

The jockey said: "It's the first time I've ridden him and I was impressed. He was a little bit unlucky last time after getting cut off, but we got a nice, clear run and he's done it well. He's a nice, progressive horse."

Richard Hills, racing adviser to successful owner Hamdan Al Maktoum: : "He was very unlucky last time at Chelmsford, but he came out of the race extremely well and has proven his stuff there.

"For me, he would be a nice horse for the Britannia (at Royal Ascot). He'll get a mile well and Jim just said to me that it took him a while to pull him up.

"He didn't handle the track that well early on, but he's done it really well and I think it was a good performance. This is always a good race and a good pointer for Ascot."

Dragons Tail looked a useful juvenile as he romped to victory in the English Fine Cottons EBF Maiden Stakes.

Tom Dascombe's youngster stepped up on his debut third with a taking display in the hands of Richard Kingscote.

Dragons Tail (3-1) was handy from the start and bounded away from the opposition in the final furlong to score impressively from his stablemate Auntie Pam.

Dascombe said: "He was visually very impressive and he ran a great race first time out so he's clearly going the right way."

When asked if it would be Ascot next Dascombe replied: "Is there any other meeting? I think he wants six furlongs. We've also got Frozen Angel, who is very good, and this lad is quite good, too."

Kingscote said: "He gave me a lovely feel. He feel like a horse that is going to improve plenty."

Dragons Tails' co-owner Michael Owen said: "It's really special as it's our local track and Tom was leading trainer here last year. We didn't have a winner on their first day last year so let's hope history repeats itself.

"It certainly takes the pressure off and days like to do are why we do it. I own this with a couple of newcomers to racing so it is especially exciting for them. He looked visually very impressive and has always shown plenty of speed. I'll speak to Tom and work out a plan."

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