After his best ever National Hunt season, Donald McCain turned his attentions to the Flat and saddled the first two home in the Chester Cup through Ile De Re and Overturn.
The latter was attempting to add his name to the illustrious list of dual winners.
Heavy rain just before the race was not in Overturn’s favour and a flag start due to difficulties in moving the stalls in saturated ground made it a bit more of a lottery.
Nevertheless, Eddie Ahern bounced out Overturn and adopted his customary front-running role and everything else was in trouble two furlongs (400m) out apart from his new stablemate.
Ile De Re (10-1) was with Ian Williams until just a few weeks ago and was last seen in the Imperial Cup, but Jim Crowley always looked confident in winning by a length and three-quarters.
“Ian Williams deserves a lot of the credit as he did a lot of the work and we’ve only had him a few weeks,” McCain said.
“I thought Overturn would win two furlongs out but the weight on that ground has taken its toll.
“Overturn is in the Ascot Gold Cup as well as the Queen Alexandra and that race would suit him. I shall speak to Tim (Leslie, owner) but I expect he’ll end up running in one of those races at Ascot.
“Flat racing is not the be-all-and-end-all for us but we are lucky to have some smashing horses that can do a job for us.”
Johnston’s Good Morning Star created a 50-1 stir in the Cheshire Oaks by beating Aidan O’Brien’s Betterbetterbetter.
Owner Dr Marwan Koukash admitted the filly had been viewed as a “social” runner.
“She was my only social runner of the meeting. I rang Mark up and suggested we ran her as I had nothing else that would stay a mile and a half (2400m),” he said.
“I had been looking for a claimer for her but we’ll probably take her to Royal Ascot now over a mile and a half (Ribblesdale Stakes) and see what happens.”
O’Brien intimated the runner-up could still head for the Oaks despite her defeat.