Chester's May Meeting is a fixture that fails to disappoint and yesterday was no different as Richard Fahey trained a one-two in the feature Chester Cup, with the Willie Mullins-trained Simenon an apparently unlucky loser when flying home late to finish fourth.
The former Dermot Weld-trained six-year-old Address Unknown battled hard in the big race to deny a number of fast finishers, most notably his stable companion Ingleby Spirit, who was second, a result that sent winning owner Dr Marwan Koukash into raptures as they flashed past the post.
There was to be no Irish-trained winner on the opening afternoon of the three-day meeting, with Simenon the closest to come to glory, and Mullins' raider will undoubtedly be aimed back at Royal Ascot where he won twice last year.
Johnny Murtagh was on board yesterday as Simenon came from the back and an inside position on the rail to fly home and be narrowly denied another memorable success.
Chester can throw up a number of Classic clues throughout the course of the week, and yesterday was no different as the Hughie Morrison-trained Banoffee looked a potential Oaks candidate following her Cheshire Oaks win in the hands of Kieren Fallon.
Fallon's mount flew home to win a shade cosily at the death of the listed contest and although the three-year-old doesn't currently hold an entry for the Epsom Oaks, a supplementary entry is expected according to connections.
There will be a further Oaks trial at the meeting tomorrow afternoon as the Group Three Dee Stakes is run over an extended 10 furlongs, and Aidan O'Brien is represented here.
Ryan Moore will ride O'Brien's Magician in the six-runner race and she will be a real interesting runner as, despite being beaten by a long way behind the talented Big Break at Leopardstown on her latest start, the form of her Curragh maiden win was given a massive boost on Tuesday evening as the third-placed Alive Alive Oh won impressively at Navan leaving her connections also mulling a run in the Oaks.
Ballydoyle are also represented in the Group Three Ormonde Stakes on tomorrow's card as last season's course-and-distance winner Memphis Tennessee has just his second start since winning this race 12 months ago.
This looks a tough assignment for Memphis Tennessee as he takes on Melbourne Cup fifth Mount Athos, who will have his first run since that Australian raid.
The other Irish representative in the race is former John Oxx-trained maiden runner-up Zafraqand, now trained by Oliver Brady.