Yogi’s Girl strikes under Egan

Yogi's Girl (right) just comes out on top in the Stellar Group Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at Chester.

More news from the opening day of action at Chester's May meeting, where Yogi's Girl delighted his owner with victory.

Racegoers were treated to a thrilling finish for the opening race of the three-day Chester May meeting as Yogi's Girl just held Black Orange in the Stellar Group Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes.

The pair were prominent from the start with John Egan grabbing the advantage of the stands rail on Yogi's Girl (4-1) and it proved a winning move from stall three.

Gay Kelleway's Black Orange, drawn four, put in a strong challenge in the short straight but could not quite get past the David Evans-trained youngster, who prevailed by a nose.

Central City was two and quarter lengths away in third place.

Egan said: "She did it well. She was out quick and was very professional, as Dave's horses are. It makes my job easier when they're trained by him. She just had a little bit up her sleeve that we held for the line.

"It's brilliant for Dave and all the team, fantastic."

The winner is named after her part-owner Anthony 'Yogi' Cooke, who said: "I'm really chuffed. Dave was trying to get us a good winner and he's done it now.

"I'm a bit lost for words. I came here with confidence, I thought she'd make the frame but didn't quite think she'd win the race.

"I was a bit nervous waiting for the photo finish, but we got there and that's the main thing."

Yogi's Girl is set for a swift return to action.

Evans said: "She won well last time and we quite fancied her.

"John was great, but he always is here. She had a good draw, whereas some of the other fancied ones weren't drawn so well.

"She'll probably go to York next week (Marygate) and then for the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot."

Kelleway said of Black Orange: "He only cost £3,000, you don't have to pay loads.

"He'll go for the Norfolk at Royal Ascot now, my only regret is that he doesn't have a bigger nose!

"I've 25 two-year-olds and while he's good, I know I've got better, which is pleasing."

El Astronaute made all the running from his advantageous inside draw to register a second course success in the Boodles Diamond Handicap.

Jason Hart was able to control the race after John Quinn's sprinter burst out of the stalls and though the pack closed in, the 2/1 favourite kept the opposition at bay. Pat Shanahan's Irish raider Taexali finished strongly and was only a neck behind at the line.

Confessional, who took the prize in 2012, was three-quarters a length away in third.

Hart said: "He's a very fast horse and it was ideal when we were drawn in stall one because he made all the last day at Newmarket and we knew he'd come on for that run.

"He was doing an awful lot in front today, but he's all speed and I'm not sure if the Dash at Epsom is the plan for him and you have to be fast for that.

"I like riding around here and it's great fun. I was always holding on."

Paul Hanagan timed his run on Here And Now to perfection to foil the well-backed Stradivarius in the Sporting Index Handicap.

Hanagan was happy to sit third on the Ralph Beckett-trained colt as Jukebox Jive made the running from Stradivarius, before Frankie Dettori set sail for home on the latter, who was the even-money favourite.

It looked all over but the well-bred Here And Now (15-2), who is by Dansili out of Oaks winner Look Here, came with a powerful drive to win by half a length with Jukebox Jive third, two and a quarter lengths away.

Beckett said: "His mother was about 15lb better at Epsom than she was anywhere else, so there was a reason why we were keen to come here. His sister (Hereawi) won around here last year as well.

"He's a grand, honest little horse. There's not much of him, but like his mother he's all heart and I was hopeful it might pan out for him today.

"It's nice to get his head in front and obviously the family is one I probably know better than any other in the stud book. I enjoy training families and I've been lucky with this one, so inevitably it means plenty to me, if no-one else.

"We might think about the King George V Stakes next month at (Royal) Ascot. "He's a fun horse rather than a stakes horse, but there's plenty of mileage in him yet."

Never Surrender lived up to his name as he kept finding more for Jamie Spencer to make all the running in the Deepbridge Capital Maiden Stakes.

Bristol Missile put in a strong challenge in the straight but Never Surrender (2-1 favourite) was not for passing.

The High Chaparral colt, who was fifth to Investec Derby second-favourite Cracksman at Epsom two weeks ago, went on to win by a length and three-quarters for trainer Charlie Hills.

Spencer said: "He's been a work in progress and obviously he's rated 88, so he was entitled to win.

"He loses concentration a little bit and was backing off a good bit in front, but once I got stuck into him he put his head down and went away and won.

"He was never at full stretch going forward and if anything came to him he was going to go again.

"It's the first time he's been able to run on really fast ground and I think that's a help to him."

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