Stefano Cherchi celebrates notable winner at Chelmsford


First success for young rider in the Godolphin colours.

Stefano Cherchi can expect his services to be used more often by Goldolphin after making his first ride in the royal blue a winning one aboard Gifts Of Gold at Chelmsford.

The 19-year-old teamed up with trainer Saeed bin Suroor to carry the famous silks of Sheikh Mohammed’s operation to glory on the Invincible Spirit gelding in the Free Streaming Every UK Race Handicap.

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Having finished down the field in a Group Three at Meydan on his previous start in February, the five-year-old made the most of a drop in class on his return from a 182-break with a six-length success in the mile-and-a-quarter feature.

The young rider said: “It is my first ride for Godolphin and a first winner. It is always nice to ride any winner, but especially so when it is in these colours and I’m delighted. It’s a big step forward for my career.”

On the 3-1 joint favourite, he added: “It was his first start on the all-weather and I think 10 furlongs is his trip. It was the right decision to bring him back in trip and he really enjoyed it.

“He was travelling me through the race, then approaching the home straight I didn’t want to break his stride so I let him quicken as he wanted to and he picked up really well at the end.”

Zeyaadah (9-2) overcame a slow start to make a winning debut in the Tote Placepot Your First Bet Median Auction Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Mario Gussago, assistant to trainer Roger Varian, said: “It was her first time at the races and she was a bit slow away, but she took everything in her stride and was very professional.

“As soon as she was back with the field you could see that Dane (O’Neill) was very happy where he was and she looked the winner a fair way out.

“In time she will get further than a mile, but at the moment we will probably stick to that as she has to fill her frame.”

Ray Dawson showed why trainer Phil McEntee was keen to secure him for the ride aboard Bernie’s Boy (7-1) in the Great Notley Handicap when galvanising the evergreen seven-year-old to a neck victory in the five-furlong dash.

McEntee said: “Ray is riding lots of winners and that was his first ride for us. I thought his 5lb claim would help and it was not a hard call to put him on board.

“We had Comeatchoo in the race and that helped us out in front. If he gets the pace to run at and relaxes he has got plenty more races he can win.”

Flying Standard (4-1) gave those members of the Hintlesham Racing syndicate in attendance at the Essex track something to cheer about after getting up almost on the line to take the Now Never Beaten By SP Classified Stakes.

Winning trainer Chris Wall said: “The owners have been patient and it is nice that three of them that live locally have come here today.

“They’ve enjoyed this win and hopefully there is a bit more to come when we step him up beyond a mile and a quarter.”

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