No Lippy dashes to Lily Agnes success at Chester

Dream still alive for Mark Johnston filly

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No Lippy booked her ticket to Royal Ascot with an all-the-way success in the Stellar Group Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at Chester.

A winner on her debut at Doncaster, the Mark Johnston-trained 6-5 favourite grabbed the favoured rail from stall four under PJ McDonald and never saw another rival.

The David Evans-trained Lihou gave vain chase, but went down by a length and a quarter.

Assistant trainer Charlie Johnston said: “The night before her first run we had a meal with her owners (Barbara and Alick Richmond) and they said their dream was to win at Doncaster, win the Lily Agnes and then go to Royal Ascot, so the first two legs are done.

“She was green at Donny and PJ said she wasn’t doing a whole lot in front today.

“She was relatively cheap as her front legs aren’t exactly perfect, but it doesn’t seem to slow her down.”

“I don’t think she has a ground preference.

No Lippy was given a 16-1 quote by Paddy Power for the Queen Mary at Ascot.

Spoof (9-2) defied top weight in the Boodles Diamond Handicap for Charlie Hills and Callum Shepherd.

Hills’ father Barry made his name by farming winners at this meeting and it still clearly resonates.

Shepherd was content to sit off a frenetic early pace before getting up close home to beat Looks A Million by half a length.

“We must have gone fast because even he was taken off his feet early,” said Shepherd.

Hills said: “Callum had to be patient as they went so fast up front, but he hit the line well.

“We might have to look for Listed races now as that will probably take his mark over 100.

“Dad still comes to Chester every year, it’s the highlight of his season.”

Kieren Shoemark had Chief Ironside handy throughout the Deepbridge Capital Maiden Stakes and his positioning paid off with a 14-1 victory.

Trained by William Jarvis, Chief Ironside showed plenty of stamina as he came home three lengths clear of Infrastructure.

Argentello, who was sent off the 11-10 favourite, finished third after racing down the centre of the track.

Jarvis said: “He’s a lovely horse and we’ve always thought he was very smart. He was a bit disappointing on his debut, but ran a nice race at Newbury.

“This was a £20,000 maiden with a £10,000 bonus, so it was in the back of my mind for a while. The horses are going well, we just need more of them.

“I’ll look for a novice race somewhere, he might get further. Whether he’s one for Doncaster (St Leger), I don’t know, but the dream is still alive.”

Owner Dr Marwan Koukash loves nothing more than a winner at Chester and he teamed up with Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan to win the final two races.

Gabrial The Saint (13-2) opened the scoring as he lifted the Eversheds Sutherland Handicap, kicking on inside the final furlong to see off Mr Top Hat by a length and a half.

The Feathered Nest (7-1) then swooped late and fast to take the honours in the Greenhous Handicap.

My Amigo was sent off the 4-1 favourite and tried to make all, but he had no answer as Hanagan’s mount edged three-quarters of a length in front at the line.

Fahey said: “I’m delighted to have a double for Marwan, it might keep me in his good books for a few hours!”

Of The Feathered Nest, he added: “Today was the plan, it was important to get a win out of her.

“She’s not very big, but is big enough – she’s tough and genuine.”

No Lippy dashes to Lily Agnes success at Chester
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