Chester May Festival: Forest Fairy pips Port Fairy in Cheshire Oaks | Racing News

It was a first winner for Rossa Ryan at Chester as Forest Fairy pipped Port Fairy in his Cheshire Oaks fairytale as Ralph Beckett landed the first and third in the race.

Forest Fairy enhanced her Betfred Oaks claims with a narrow victory in the Weatherbys E-Passport Cheshire Oaks at Chester.

Rossa Ryan pulled wide as the six runners turned for home and just got up to beat Port Fairy by a head on the 11-4 shot for Ralph Beckett.

Ryan had failed to win at the course in 39 previous attempts before finally finding his way to the winner’s enclosure.

Ryan said: “We went an okay gallop, they steadied up down the back and we got racing three (furlongs) out.

“She’s still showed a lot of signs of inexperience when I had to come out from behind and be a bit aggressive on her, but you can’t be but impressed by the way she got out and had a look around and still when the job needed to be done, she stuck her head down and galloped right out to the line.

“I’ll leave it up to Ralph and the team to decide where she goes next, but I would imagine that when she gets on softer going conditions, she’ll be a lot better again – and I’d imagine with racing, she’ll get better.

“She got away with the ground today, it’s probably on the slow side of good and I don’t think she’d want it any quicker than that.

“She did everything I asked of her and more and answered more questions than I thought she would. We shall see what the future holds, but she’s an exciting filly for sure and she’s one that should get better with time and with age.”

Forest Fairy was cut from 20-1 to 16s for Classic success in the Oaks at Epsom with sponsors Betfred and shortened to 10-1 by Betfair.

Seraphim Angel proves just divine for Dascombe

Tom Dascombe made a triumphant return to Chester as Seraphim Angel ran out a clear-cut winner of the CAA Stellar Lily Agnes EBF Conditions Stakes.

The Roodee was Dascombe’s local track for over a decade, having spent 12 years at Michael Owen’s Manor House Stables in Cheshire before the pair parted ways in December 2021, a split the trainer described as a “complete shock”.

Seraphim Angel claimed the Lily Agnes Stakes on the first day of the Boodles May Festival
Seraphim Angel claimed the Lily Agnes Stakes on the first day of the Boodles May Festival

Having subsequently relocated to Lambourn with reduced numbers, Dascombe was thrilled to be back in the Chester winner’s enclosure after landing his second Lily Agnes victory after previously striking gold with Quatuor in 2013.

Seraphim Angel was an 11-2 shot to build on the promise of a fourth-place finish on her debut at Newmarket three weeks ago and did so in some style, displaying a smart change of gear under Pierre-Louis Jamin to run down the leaders and score by a length and a half from 18-5 favourite Flicka’s Girl.

“She went to Newmarket, we’re not hard on them at home and she didn’t know what to do when she came off the bridle. She clearly had learned a lot today,” said Dascombe.

“We’ll see how she is, but she’s got loads of speed, so I would suggest she’ll go to York for the Listed Marygate Stakes (next week).

“She’s won a £20,000 bonus today and the prize money is always brilliant at Chester, so she’s more than paid for herself already. I love her.”

Dascombe hopes Seraphim Angel’s triumph is the start of a return to better times, adding: “It was difficult moving back to Lambourn with so few horses, and then last year we put all our yearlings in a pre-training yard that got strangles, with a lot of the horses we couldn’t give them a winter prep.

“This is the first time in two years that we’ve had a clear run at actually getting them ready and I think we’ve had four runners and that’s my second winner.

“I’m delighted. I love two-year-olds and it’s great to have a winner at Chester in this race. I love this race, I love the people here, who are all so welcoming and friendly.”

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