Ch­ester draws are so vi­tal – Das­combe

The Racing Paper - - News - By Michael Wale

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

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