Navello too sharp for Chester rivals in opener

Navello is away and clear at Chester
Image: Navello is away and clear at Chester

Navello proved himself to be a versatile juvenile when justifying 5-4 favouritism in the ICM Stellar Sports Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at Chester.

Navello proved himself to be a versatile juvenile when justifying 5-4 favouritism in the ICM Stellar Sports Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at Chester.

George Boughey's son of Ivawood was having his fourth race of the season already and his trainer plans another before a probable trip to Royal Ascot.

Nicola Currie took up the running over a furlong out and impressively pulled six lengths clear of a previous winner in Devious Angel.

"That was great. It wasn't surprising he did that, as his dam was Group-placed on soft ground, but now he's won on quick and soft ground. He's on an upward curve," said Boughey.

"He was very green when he first ran at Bath, but he keeps taking a step forward. He's a horse I think we'll go to the National Stakes with next, at Sandown - it seems the obvious place to go.

"The owner/breeders are here today, they've had a great day and hopefully we can get some black type."

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Currie will be hoping Navello could help force her back on to some nice horses after a quiet couple of seasons.

"He certainly made life a lot easier today than he has done," she said.

"The ground was the question mark, but he jumped and travelled and I was laughing within the first furlong. It was just a case of whether he would gallop out on this ground, and he has done.

"You could get away with five or six (furlongs) at the moment. We thought he was crying out for six, but the way he jumped and travelled today you could get away with five (at Ascot)."

She added: "I had an injury and it kind of went downhill from there and the momentum went. It's hard to get going again in this game as there's always someone chasing your tail."

Showalong (13-8 favourite) landed some hefty bets in the tote+ At Handicap for Tim Easterby and David Allan.

Highly thought of last year, following a promising seasonal debut he resumed winning ways in cosy fashion, beating First Company by three-quarters of a length.

"He was probably well backed because he showed some good form last year, ran a strong race first time out and appreciates soft ground," said Allan.

"He's a horse we think will progress well this year, especially with cut in the ground. He likes to do things his own way, but he wasn't doing a lot when he hit the front."

Assistant trainer William Easterby said: "One of his owners is an official at York so the big three-year-old handicap there is on the agenda. But the race we won at Royal Ascot last year with Art Power (Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap) could suit him first, over a stiff five."

Tom Dascombe loves saddling winners at Chester and was on the mark once more, with 5-1 shot Paws For Thought striking gold in the tote+ Pays You More At Handicap under Richard Kingscote.

Dascombe said: "It's great to have a winner here - obviously it's our big meeting.

"Richard is excellent at getting them out of the stalls and you could see with three furlongs to go the horse had won.

"It was brilliant placing by the owner because I wanted to run him tomorrow in the seven-furlong race, but he said 'no, drop him back to six', so I can't take much of the credit."

Roger Varian and Jim Crowley teamed up to land the Boodles Maiden Stakes with the promising Alfaadhel.

Third on his Newbury debut last month, the 4-1 chance went two places better with a determined display.

Crowley said: "We went a solid pace, and he turned for home going well, but he probably just struggled a little on the ground. It was just a bit soft for him, and he made hard work of it up the straight.

"He's a fine, big horse - that Newbury run looked good, and he has come forward from it. He did well today to say he didn't like the ground, and he's a big horse to be going round here."

The concluding Deepbridge Estate Planning Service Handicap went to 25-1 shot Broken Spear, trained by Tony Coyle and ridden by 5lb claimer Kieran Schofield.

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