Intransigent stars at Chester
Intransigent went one place better than in last year's MBNA Queensferry Stakes at Chester as Andrew Balding's sprinter claimed the first Listed race of his career.
Twelve months ago, the 10-1 chance had been headed in the final strides by Hitchens, and while he picked up a minor event at Haydock in September, he was on a long losing run stretching through 2014.Oisin Murphy's life was not made easy by a wide draw but the jockey managed to drop Intransigent in and released him for a challenge down the outside in the short home straight.
It looked as if the race might be panning out perfectly for 2-1 favourite Ertijaal as he crept up the inside rail but Intransigent was too strong in the finish and eventually won by two lengths from Coulsty, with Ertijaal back in third.
"I might have hit the front too soon on him here the last day, but that was over seven furlongs and he was dropping back to six today," Murphy told Racing UK.
"I knew the ones in front would come back to me, I thought I had probably hit the front too soon again but he ran on well.
"I'm getting great support from Mr Balding as well as Ed De Giles and Joe Tuite. After you lose your claim it's important to keep your name in the papers by riding winners."
Mattmu (7-2) was given a smart ride by David Allan to collect the MBNA/E.B.F. Stallions Stakes for trainer Tim Easterby.
Roudee, the appropriately-named hot favourite, attempted to slip the field from the front but Allan was on his coat tails and stole an unassailable lead before crossing to the rail.
The Barry Hills-trained Kibaar made inroads in the final furlong but was held by a length and a half
Mattmu had finished second on his first three starts, but arrived here after landing a Haydock maiden.
Salateen only ever looked like the winner as 5-4 favourite of the MBNA / EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes under Paul Mulrennan.
While Kevin Ryan's juvenile is still quite inexperienced, he was smartly away and galloped all the way to the line seven lengths clear to build on a couple of promising previous starts.
Few meetings on the Roodee go by without Dr Marwan Koukash having a winner and the charismatic owner's 4-1 favourite Apostle took the MBNA Mile before English Summer (15-8) doubled his tally in the Halliwell Jones Handicap.
Local trainer Tom Dascombe landed the Racing UK Nursery with Don Sigfredo (3-1).