Turf Talk: Winning Story plots another feather in his cap at Chester

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
Have your say

Winning Story can add another feather to his cap by landing a first Pattern-race success in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes, the feature event on the final day of the May Festival at Chester.

The four-year-old will be taking a bit of a leap in class for Saeed bin Suroor as he lines up in this Group Three affair, but given his current mark of 108, options are really quite limited.

However, Winning Story has earned every bit of that fine perch through a fantastic winter on the all-weather which culminated in victory on Finals Day at Lingfield last month.

Winner of a Newmarket maiden last spring, Winning Story was viewed as a possible Derby candidate but a heavy defeat in the Lingfield trial this time last year showed he was some way below the required standard and he did not actually reappear again until November.

Gelded in the interim, Winning Story unshipped his rider on his first outing but stepped up substantially on that effort subsequently, to win a fast-track qualifier at Newcastle and finish second in another such event at Chelmsford.

Stablemate Natural Scenery was much better fancied for the final of the staying division of the All-Weather Championships that month, but Winning Story really excelled in cheekpieces, making the most of a strong gallop to win in fine style.

Dropping back to a mile and five furlongs here may not be totally ideal, but he does not lack for a bit of pace and he can make his stamina tell in the finish.

Mirage Dancer is the latest son of Frankel to go under the Classic microscope as he lines up in the Homeserve Dee Stakes.

His trainer Sir Michael Stoute used this Listed heat as a prep for subsequent Epsom hero Kris King back in 2003 and while Mirage Dancer has a way to go before hitting those kind of heights, he is certainly bred to be making his mark at this level at least.

His sire was an undoubted star but the distaff side of his pedigree also represents the cream of the crop as he is a son of Heat Haze, a dual Group One winner and part of the famous Hasili dynasty, with Dansili and Banks Hill just two of her famous siblings.

Mirage Dancer looked the part on his racecourse debut at Doncaster last autumn, getting going late with five subsequent winners finishing in behind as the Freemason Lodge representative came home half a length clear despite his evident inexperience.

Stoute also had the option of next week’s Dante at York, so you can only assume he believes this race to be the better option on the way to bigger things in time.


ASCOT: 5.35 Handiwork, 6.05 Ziarah, 6.40 Stylish Dancer, 7.15 Rusumaat, 7.50 Moonraker, 8.20 Come On Come On.

CHESTER: 1.50 El Hayem, 2.25 Mirage Dancer (next best), 3.00 Copper Knight, 3.35 WINNING STORY (NAP), 4.05 Cheerfilly, 4.35 Double Up, 5.50 Modernism.

LINGFIELD: 1.40 Kullu, 2.15 Janszoon, 2.45 One Minute, 3.20 Oh So Sassy, 3.55 Trick Of The Light, 4.25 Bringit, 4.55 Buxted Dream, 5.30 One Big Surprise.

MARKET RASEN: 2.05 Aza Run, 2.35 Azzuri, 3.10 Tempuran, 3.45 A Boy Named Suzi, 4.15 Get Home Now, 4.45 Carli King, 5.20 Young Phoenix.

NOTTINGHAM: 5.10 Under Offer, 5.45 Okool, 6.15 Feint, 6.50 Haraz, 7.25 Al Nafoorah, 8.00 Glorvina, 8.30 Loumarin.

RIPON: 6.00 Star Of Zaam, 6.30 Crindle Carr, 7.05 Straightothepoint, 7.40 Lincoln Rocks, 8.15 Mysterial, 8.45 Yalawin.