Merhoob makes no mistake at Chester

Good Friday third follows up on Roodee

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Merhoob made his first visit to Chester a winning one when springing a surprise in the Gateley PLC Handicap.

Kept busy on the all-weather over the winter, the John Ryan-trained seven-year-old gained his first win on turf since June last year on his return to five furlongs.

Travelling well in the middle of the pack, the 22-1 shot burst past favourite and eventual runner-up Copper Knight inside the final furlong, before scoring by a length.

Winning jockey Liam Keniry said: “He was a good third on Good Friday and he had a chance on his all-weather form. That is the first time he has probably done it on turf off that higher mark.

“The ground was very soft and he handled it fine. He travelled round beautifully and in the straight he got a bit of a gap and saw it out well.”

Silvestre de Sousa maintained his unbeaten record aboard Lincoln Park, steering the three-year-old to glory in the Deepbridge Capital Handicap.

After partnering him to victory on his stable debut for Mick Appleby at Pontefract in October, the reigning champion jockey rekindled their successful partnership when making virtual all to take the extended seven-furlong contest by a length.

Joint-owner Craig Buckingham said of the 7-2 winner: “The brief was simple, to jump and go. He likes going forward and a bit of juice in the ground is perfect for him.

“The only concern was would he handle the track, as although he is not the biggest he is quite strong. Just coming up the straight he got a little tired and a little lonely up the rail.

“The ground was far too quick at Musselburgh and the mile is probably on the limit, but that put him spot on for here.”

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