Botti in pursuit of Chester glory as racing returns to the Roodee

Queensferry Stakes takes centre stage on track’s first fixture of the season.

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Marco Botti is hoping Dark Pursuit proves up to the mark when the four-year-old brings Qatar form to the UK in the #chestertogether Queensferry Stakes, as racing returns to the Roodee on Monday.

The sprinter won a valuable six-furlong contest in Doha in February and was moved from Stefano Ibido’s stable to Newmarket over two months ago.

“The horse did well in Qatar and the plan was to see if he’s good enough for a few nice races over six and seven furlongs,” said Botti.

“He is a nice horse and would not be able to do anything for three months if he stayed in Qatar, so he was shipped to England. Hopefully the owner, who is one of our clients, will be rewarded.

“The horse is very straightforward and is laid back at home. He has settled in well.

“He’s got a rating of 108, so it is difficult to place him. This looks a good opportunity for him. He’s used to running on a sharp track, he seems in good form and he’s got a good draw (one).

“It will be interesting to see how he gets on and hopefully he will run a big race and we can plan for the future and see where we go from there.”

He added: “The form of his latest win in Doha is quite good, Obviously he needs to transfer that form to England.”

Dark Pursuit takes on some well-seasoned and talented performers in the Listed heat – the highlight of an eight-race card for the first meeting of the season at the track, live on Sky Sports Racing – headed by Julie Camacho’s multiple Group Three scorer Judicial.

Kevin Ryan saddles both Emaraaty Ana and last year’s winner Major Jumbo, while Richard Fahey is doubly-represented with Growl and Gabrial The Wire.

Completing the field are last year’s Ayr Gold Cup hero Angel Alexander, Keep Busy and Rock On Baileys.

Preceding the feature is the British Stallion Studs EBF Conditions Stakes, in which five of the six runners are last time out winners.

They include Goodwood winner Zamaani for Simon and Ed Crisford and the unbeaten pair of Mystery Smiles (Andrew Balding) and Regional (Richard Fahey).

The latter’s Pontefract success was boosted by the victory of runner-up Politics at Sandown on Friday.

Botti in pursuit of Chester glory as racing returns to the Roodee
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