Chester draws are so vital – Dascombe
RACING at Chester instantly conjures the name of trainer Tom Dascombe, whose Cheshire stables are part owned by Liverpool and England star Michael Owen.
Owen bred the stable’s great star, Brown Panther, who won the Dubai World Cup but died aged seven when attempting to win the Irish St Leger for the second time.
But last Saturday the stable found a new star in Arthur Kitt, who won the Chesham at Royal Ascot, the race won last year by future Derby hero Masar.
Arthur Kitt was bred by Owen’s coowner of the Malpas-based yard, Andrew Black.
Black says: “I would hope he would be good enough to run in the Guineas.”
Arthur Kitt’s dam Ceiling Kitty died while giving birth. But today at Chester one of her other three foals, Formidable Kitt, runs in the 2.30.
She hasn’t impressed lately, but in May ran fourth over Chester’s five furlongs. Dascombe runners all have question marks against them, but the fact that he has chosen Chester as a venue demands respect.
Cashel goes in the 1.55. Dragons Tail in the 3.05, but, more interestingly, Blyton in the two-year-old five furlong dash in the 3.40pm. Blyton, an £85,000 February foal, has finished second in his two other races. Today could be his day.
Dascombe says of Chester: “Local owners love running their horses there. The racecourse itself is brilliant. Yes, it’s on the turn all the way, so you just have to run them and find out if they like it.
“You could also take five horses there and stand no chance, if you get the wrong draw.” Low numbers are favoured in every race.
The combination of Dascombe and his jockey Richard Kingscote have sometimes been underrated, maybe because they train in the more unfashionable North West.
Dascombe says of their partnership : “We have the longest relationship in racing. He is very honest, and easy to deal with. Arthur Kitt was typical of his riding abilities. People are beginning to realise he can ride a horse. Even though he may be offered four or five rides at another meeting, he will always go to a meeting where we may just have one runner.”
Despite his long relationship with Dascombe, Kingscote lives near Newbury. As a result, he drives some 50,000 miles a year. He didn’t have to drive far on Tuesday, mind, when Dascombe sent two horses down to Newbury, rewarding Kingscote with a winning double.
Kingscote says of riding at Chester: “You do need a horse that is very well balanced, able to use their speed while they are taking the bends. Not a lot of horses can do that.
“The draw is crucial. If you’re drawn out wide you’re on the backfoot from the word go. Our horses love Chester. The way we ride our horses tends to suit Chester. The boss likes us to be positive there.”
Kingscote is also retained by Arthur Kitt’s breeder and owner Andrew Black. He says: “He is a bit like Ryan Moore. You never see Richard panic. After a race if you want to know something about your horse he doesn’t mind disppointing you.”
Black started Betfair, where he got to know Michael Owen, who was a footballing ambassador for the company.
As for the future of the stables Black shares with Owen, he says Dascombe has been associated with cheap, early speed horses that could get a result for their owners.
He sees a long-term future now being planned with more money being spent on two-year-olds. And there is the backing of his own Chasemore Farm stud in Cobham, Surrey, which, after Arthur Kitt’s Royal Ascot victory, gives hope they can supply even more top class horses.
New stable star: Arthur Kitt wins the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot