Ormonde Stakes: Hamish first horse in 20 years to win back-to-back in Chester Group Three feature | Racing News
Hamish stayed on powerfully to defeat classy rivals Lone Eagle and Changingoftheguard and take back-to-back renewals of the Group Three Ormonde Stakes at Chester.
In what is remarkably only his 15th career start, he was able to pick up Changingoftheguard with three furlongs to run and then put away Lone Eagle in the final 100 yards and win by just over a length at the line.
Former Irish Derby second Lone Eagle got back to somewhere near his best in finishing second, with favourite Changingoftheguard and Ryan Moore only third for Aidan O’Brien.
The win gave Tom Marquand and William Haggas another success in the Ormonde, with Hamish becoming the first horse in over 20 years to win back-to-back renewals when St Expedit pulled off the same feat.
Speaking after the race, winning jockey Marquand said: “He’s a really special horse. Maureen [Haggas] absolutely adores him but I think he’s a proper yard favourite and a fantastic job to get him back as a seven-year-old and probably better than ever.
“It’s very hard to do and it’s not the first and it won’t be the last time they do it. It’s great for the horse, he loves it here and the ground is his way at the moment and hopefully it stays that way.
“It was smooth enough. We didn’t go overly fast but he’s got a turn of foot on soft ground which is a rare attribute.
“He’s got that turn of foot to kill the race whenever he wants.”
10th Dee Stakes for O’Brien with San Antonio
Earlier on the card, Aidan O’Brien bagged a 10th Dee Stakes victory at Chester with San Antonio for Ryan Moore in what was a rough race on the Roodee.
San Antonio was managed to have a smooth enough run despite the wayward nature of Local Dynasty on his inside, who drifted wide under William Buick throughout.
And as others fell away, it proved to be a two-horse race between San Antonio and favourite Alder, trained by Aidan’s son Donnacha and ridden by Gavin Ryan.
But father got the better of son on this occasion, pulling clear to win by just under two lengths and take Aidan’s victories in the Dee up to double figures.
The winner was trimmed as a result for the Betfred Derby, into 25/1 from 50/1 pre-race.
After the race, winning trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “Ryan was very happy with the horse. He relaxed, he stayed well and said he could get further so you’d have to be very happy really.
“It’s not a hard race on a horse and you can go back or up – around here they learn a lot and come out of the race lovely.”