Copper Knight rolls back the years to record 15th success

Over eight years on from winning the Lily Agnes at the track as a juvenile, Copper Knight showed he is as enthusiastic for the game as ever when landing the 5f handicap at Chester on Saturday.

The ten-year-old went close to recording his first success since victory under Sean Kirrane at Pontefract last July when beaten a neck over course-and-distance last month.

Kirrane helped the Tim Easterby-trained sprinter go one better than that narrow defeat to end an 11-race winless streak by repeating his 2022 success in this race off a 20lb lower mark.

Kirrane was winning his fourth race on the popular veteran, who brought up his 15th career success on his 95th start.

He told Sky Sports Racing: “Age just doesn’t seem to get to him. He just keeps on holding his form year after year. Tim Easterby is a master with these types of horses. 

"To get him to maintain that level and run in these competitive handicaps as a ten-year-old is testament to the team.”

Copper Knight has now won four times at Chester with only York, where he has won a record seven races, a more fruitful track. 

Kirrane added: "To come here on a Saturday and produce a run like that, it’s amazing."

Last year's Nunthorpe Stakes-winning jockey and Easterby completed a 169-1 double on Copper Knight’s stablemate and fellow ten-year-old Hyperfocus in the 6f handicap.

Rare combination 

Franny Norton had not ridden for Richard Hannon since 2022 or partnered a winner for the trainer prior to the 7½f Handicap, but the pair successfully combined with Love Billy Boy in the feature £60,000 event.

Colgan collects

Cheltenham-winning rider Robbie Colgan enjoyed his first success on the Flat in Britain when Rich Belief justified 7-2 favouritism in the 2m handicap for Dublin trainer Karl Thornton.