[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s the first time I’ve been to Chester for years and had forgotten what a fabulous racecourse it is. The ring was bathed in glorious sunshine and the bookies chipper when betting got underway for the Steller Group Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes. Had 12/1 Black Orange actually gone past Yogi’s Girl as it threatened too all the way up the run-in it would have been happy days but failing to get up by a nose cost the layers plenty. The office laid a grand ew the winner at 5/1 with lumps reported in the ring too. Not a great start to the three days but at least the winner wasn’t favourite.Business was lively for the Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks, the trouble was it was all for the favourite Alluringly. She went off at even money after strong support. The office laid a lump too. Frankie Dettori was at his best stealing the race on 2/1 Enable kicking away off the bend. The second-in isn’t a great result but getting the stick-on beaten was very handy indeed.The books were on the back foot again when 2/1 favourite El Astronaute landed the Boodles Diamond Handicap Stakes but soon dusted off to get stuck into the 188Bet Chester CupMontaly’s 16/1 win in the feature was a great result for most books though Pinno the Tash was busy paying out a winning punter as I passed. Dave Brewer of Fairbet couldn’t believe his luck, he’d laid every horse in the race except the winner, ‘Makes a change to win on a race’ was his only celebration apart from a huge smile. BK Racing were still smarting over the nose reversal in the first which cost them four figures but they’d hit the front.Stradivarius was a warm order for the Sporting Index Handicap Stakes eventually sent off at even money. The books feared the worst as Dettori got a tune out the the colt and looked to have the race won. Just as the layers were working out what they’d lost and odds-on in-running punters were bruising their clicking fingers Here And Now came with rapid late headway to mug the jolly close home which had the ring in raptures. Rumours that The Racing Blogger was on the runner-up were abound but at the time of writing were unverified!The punters got some back in the penultimate Deepbridge Capital Maiden Stakes when Never Surrender lived up to its name and battled on to win under a determined Jamie Spencer.The lucky last proved to be just that when 14/1 shot Russian Soul got up on the line to chin 15/8 jolly Gin In The Inn. Of course there is always a bad luck story. One bookmaker laid the winner to a bottle each-way and also topped up by the same punter with the correct forecast to a pony. The layer was mortified to find out the winning backer only bet the winner because he wife is Russian and that he’d been drinking gin all afternoon. Talk about gutted, I’m pretty sure the bookie would have rather the wager was inspired than lucky. Glorious day 1 concluded and a winning one for the ring, well most of it.