Mob-handed Koukash takes Chester Cup
Owner lands feature race for second successive year to claim his ‘Derby’
Ryan Moore wins the Chester Cup aboard Suegioo (blue cap) in a driving finish. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Charismatic owner Dr Marwan Koukash states every year that the StanJames.com Chester Cup is his “Derby” and he knew from some way out he would be adding to his collection as Suegioo swooped late to deny Angel Gabrial on the Roodee.
Koukash struck 12 months ago with the Richard Fahey-trained Address Unknown and the same combination looked like teaming up again as Angel Gabrial made a startling move from last to first under Jamie Spencer and kicked clear in the straight.
However, Ryan Moore had just been waiting for a gap on Marco Botti’s Suegioo and he quickened as if he would go away to win in style.
Angel Gabrial drifted off the rail, though, hampering Suegioo and taking him quite violently across the track.
The manoeuvre earned Spencer a four-day suspension, but Suegioo (10 to 1) was still strong enough to win by half a length.
The well-backed pair of Communicator and Mubaraza took minor honours.
“The gelding’s operation has definitely helped as last year he ran some good races but he seems to have matured,” said Botti. “He obviously stays and the rain helped . . . While the previous owner decided to stay at a mile-and-a-half last year once Dr Koukash bought him this was always going to be a target.”
Koukash said: “The winner will probably go to Royal Ascot for the Ascot Stakes but I had five runners this year and all five will try to come back again.”
Cheshire Oaks upset
“There are races like the Northumberland Plate and Cesarewitch that they can all run in but their programmes will be built around
. . . here next year.
“They’ve just told me that I have to win the Cup three times in a row to keep it so I’ll be back next year and we’ll have more than five runners!”
Anipa caused a minor shock in the Weatherbys Private Banking Cheshire Oaks. Coming in off the back of two previous wins, Roger Varian’s filly was nibbled at in the market but was still sent off at 16 to 1.