Niven and Lee joy with Cookie
Clever Cookie sluiced through the Chester mud this afternoon to win the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes for trainer Peter Niven and jockey Graham Lee.
The race looked set to fall to the strong traveling Tac De Boistron, sent off a well backed 11/10f for Marco Botti and Martin Harley as the big grey cruised through the pack to sweep into the lead at the 2f pole but Clever Cookie made ground to move up his inside and in the final furlong proved too strong for his rival and recorded a hard fought success.
Graham Lee immediately afterwards showed his delight “He’s a good horse, loves the ground and the race worked out well.”
All the big stayers races will now be on the agenda for Niven’s stable star with bookmakers making the seven year old a general 16/1 chance for Gold Cup glory at Ascot in June.
The Dee Stakes earlier on the card also provided an upset as Jim Crowley rode Hughie Morrison’s Not So Sleepy to victory at 11/1 in a thrilling finish to the Listed contest. Aidan O’Brien’s Smugglers Cove was sent off market leader at at 6/5f but was one of the first to drop out of contention.
Trainer Morrison has no immediate plans. “He has a lot of ability and it’s thanks to the lads who ride him at home that he’s run the race he has today. He was a bit keen, but he loved it. He stayed every yard and went on the ground. There is no grand plan. He probably wants soft ground, so he might go to France at some stage as he stays well enough. He has always run slightly on his nerves, but maybe this will make him grow up.”
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