Tournedos showed his liking for the twists and turns of the Roode as he claimed the totesport.com Chester City Wall Stakes for a second consecutive year today.
Previously with Jon Akehurst when landing this five-furlong contest in 2005 at 33-1, punters made no mistake this time as the four-year-old justified favouritism in grand style on only his third outing for Roger Charlton.
The Rossini colt, fifth behind the classy Dandy Man at the Curragh last time out, came with a rattling late run to take the valuable Listed prize at odds of 5-2.
Tony Culhane was forced to come wide of runner-up Desert Lord deep inside the final furlong which was to prove fortuitous as the unlucky-in-running Strike Up The Band came with a similar late run on the inside – but was unable to find daylight.
As a consequence, Desert Lord’s jockey Daragh O’Donohoe was hit with a one-day suspension (July 26) for careless riding.
Tournedos, who was with Mick Channon as a juvenile before spending last season with Akehurst, strode purposefully across the line with half a length in hand from his nearest rival.
The winner was cut from 50-1 to 20-1 by VC Bet for the Nunthorpe Stakes at York but is more likely to head for Goodwood rather than the Knavesmire.
“Chester suits him – as does the fast ground and the minimum trip,” reported Charlton from his Beckhampton yard.
“We’ll see how he is after the race and although he’s in the Nunthorpe, the King George Stakes at Goodwood is the more likely target.”
Culhane added: “I’ve ridden him a few times when he was with Mick and I always thought he was a really good, tough little horse.
“He was the main man today.”
Prince Of Light maintained Mark Johnston’s rich vein of form by winning the opening contest on a sun-kissed afternoon.
The Fantastic Light colt, second behind Librettist in a Listed event at Windsor last time out, made virtually every inch of the running from stall one to hold off the late surge of Vanderlin in the totescoop6 Chester Conditions Stakes.
Given a positive ride by jockey Jean Pierre Guillambert, the 11-8 favourite showed a really willing attitude when asked to score by a length and a quarter.
“He’s got a terrific attitude and wasn’t quite up to scratch at Windsor, where he lost a shoe with about two furlongs to go,” explained Prince Of Light’s joint-owner Claire Riordan.
“But that was really good and to do it so easily was very pleasing.
“He’s in the big handicaps and a few Group races but we’ll leave it to Mark - he can do no wrong at the minute.”
William Hill reacted to Prince Of Light’s convincing victory by cutting his price for the Totesport Mile at Goodwood from 20-1 to 16-1.
Guillambert was back in the winner’s enclosure 35 minutes later when Instructor put up a gritty display to take the totecourse to course Handicap over an extended 10 furlongs.
Richard Fahey’s 6-1 chance broke away smartly from the gates and was allowed to bowl along in front.
Billy One Punch tracked his every move, however, and appeared the likely winner once Instructor was headed entering the last furlong.
But Guillambert had other ideas and battled back into the lead in the final 100 yards before registering a one-length success from George Margarson’s charge.
Gold Spirit (3-1) underlined the well-being of Eoghan O’Neill’s juveniles by winning the totepool Text Betting 60021 Maiden Auction Stakes as he pleased in the hands of course specialist Francis Norton.
The son of Invincible Spirit made all and came home with a length to spare over Daruma.
Local trainer Mark Brisbourne was all smiles after the toteexacta Handicap as Merrymaker (9-1) outstayed his rivals in the hands of Patrick Mathers to win an absorbing renewal of the two-mile heat.
Several had chances entering the final furlong but Brisbourne’s charge came late in the day to deny Behlaya by three-quarters of a length.
Stablemate Turner, who won this race for Brisbourne last year, finished fourth.
“The two are closely matched on their home form and we’ll aim Merrymaker at a York handicap in a few weeks now,” said the Nesscliffe handler.