Sport Horse Racing

Friday 30 September 2016

Stewards look into Douglas ride as Ranger labours home

Published 06/05/2016 | 02:30

US Army Ranger (right) ridden by Ryan Moore wins The MBNA Chester Vase from Port Douglas (left) Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
US Army Ranger (right) ridden by Ryan Moore wins The MBNA Chester Vase from Port Douglas (left) Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

US Army Ranger is no longer the Investec Derby favourite after a narrow Chester Vase triumph over Ballydoyle stablemate Port Douglas failed to impress bookmakers.

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In a slightly tense edition of the Epsom Classic's trial, Ryan Moore's odds-on mount passed the post with just a short-head to spare over the Seamie Heffernan-ridden second string. It was a less than convincing triumph, although in mitigation the regally-bred US Army Ranger was having just its second track start.

However, the Chester stewards were sufficiently concerned about Heffernan's ride on Port Douglas to call an inquiry into its performance.

Having cut out the running on the 11/2 shot, Heffernan kept straight on turning into the home straight, rather than switching to the inside rail off the cutaway. That presented a clear passage for Moore to challenge.

Port Douglas finished purposefully but was just denied.

Heffernan hadn't thrown the kitchen sink at his mount, but his defence will doubtless have been founded on the fact that Port Douglas edged left into the eventual winner on the two occasions that he hit him.

The Ballydoyle team were fully exonerated by the stewards.

Meanwhile, in a boost for the Curragh, it has emerged that last week's 2,000 Guineas victor Galileo Gold will skip Epsom for a tilt at the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Irish Independent

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