Cup king Koukash clicks again

Charismatic owner Dr Marwan Koukash states every year that the 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 (10-1) was still strong enough to win by half a length.

The well-backed pair of Communicator and Mubaraza took minor honours.

Botti said: “The gelding operation has definitely helped as last year he ran some good races but he seems to have matured.

“He obviously stays and the rain helped. I was really pleased with him and Ryan gave him a great ride.”

“He has always shown plenty of ability and ran some big races in big handicaps last season.

“I suppose it was being well handicapped, the step up in trip and the ground ( which helped him to win).

“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.

“There are races like the Northumberland Plate and Cesarewitch that they can all run in but their programmes will be built around coming back 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 when continuing her progression with a gritty success under Andrea Atzeni.

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 16-1.

The winner is not in the Oaks at Epsom and would need to be supplemented.

Varian said: “She’s a tough filly who keeps improving and having won at Windsor we thought she’d handle the track, which is why we came here.

“We were hoping to finish in the first three and I’m delighted she’s won.

“At this stage, we wouldn’t commit (to an Oaks run). We’ll see how she comes out of the race. She does keep improving and surprising us a little bit, which is nice.

“I would think the Ribblesdale is the race to go for. Mr Bizakov (owner) is here and obviously I’ll have a discussion with him, but I think the Ribblesdale is the likelihood (rather than Epsom).

“I’d be surprise if she was supplemented at this stage, but we’ll have a discussion.”

Mukhmal defied the highest draw of all in stall 10 to win the Manor House Stables Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes and book his ticket to Royal Ascot.

Mark Johnston’s youngster was giving 6lb and more away to his rivals and had to come around the whole field before grabbing the rail after breaking smartly.

“It takes some doing (from that draw),” said winning jockey Paul Hanagan.

The Norfolk Stakes is the likely target for Mukhmal at the Royal meeting.

Prince Of Stars justified 11-8 favouritism as he claimed the Boodles Diamond Maiden Stakes for John Gosden and William Buick.

As a son of Sea The Stars out of top-class filly Queen’s Logic, he certainly boasts a Classic pedigree but had been very green on his first racecourse outing.

Gosdon said: “He’s a promising colt and he definitely stays a mile and a quarter – I wouldn’t want to bring him back in trip or step him up.”

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