MICHAEL OWEN cut a delighted figure in the Chester winner’s enclosure when Hackman surged to an impressive victory in the British EBF Ruby Anniversary Maiden Stakes at Chester Racecourse during Ladies Day.

The former England international famously relishes winners at his home track and had his first success on the Roodee with Treble Heights in 2002.

Trained by Hugo Palmer, Hackman was the 11-8 favourite in the hands of James Doyle and having bounced out of the stalls, made every yard to register an easy one-and-three-quarter-length victory.

It is a race Owen has tasted plenty of success in over the years and with the precocious son of Mehmas fittingly winning the race his sire landed in 2016, connections are now dreaming of a trip to Royal Ascot later in the summer.

Owen said: “He’s a really good horse and he’s very fast – he’s five furlongs through and through.

“This place means a lot to me and to win here means a lot. It’s an important meeting and we’re on the board with what we thought was our best chance of the week. He’s a nice horse and we’ve always thought Royal Ascot with him and I don’t think he’s changed our minds there.

“I really wanted to win that one. I’ve been fortunate to win plenty of races around the world and Group Ones and people might be thinking ‘a poxy little maiden round Chester’ but I wanted to win that one.

“He is just everything you want in an early two-year-old, he jumps quick and he’s a little bull of a horse. He’s great and I love him.”

Elsewhere, father beat son in the Boodles Dee Stakes as Aidan O’Brien’s San Antonio repelled the Donnacha O’Brien-trained Alder.

Alder was the 11-10 favourite for the Listed contest following an impressive start to his season at Cork, with San Antonio sent off at 16-5 following victory on the all-weather at Dundalk.

As is usually the case, Ryan Moore had San Antonio well positioned throughout, allowing his mount to stride to the front while his rivals jostled for position in behind.

Gavin Ryan delivered Alder with a major challenge rounding the home turn, but San Antonio refused to yield in front and passed the post with a length and three-quarters in hand to give O’Brien a 10th victory in the race.

O’Brien said: “Donnacha’s horse ran a stormer having got dropped back in a messy race. But Ryan had his horse in a better position and was able to control the race.

“We were always going to ride him forward. He’s nice and relaxed and was happy to have horses around him, and he found plenty.

“Obviously it looks like he’s adaptable and will get further. Epsom has to be looked at as well as Ascot and France. The lads will decide.”

See our second gallery from Ladies Day above, photos by Simon Warburton, featuring the best dressed and the pick of the racing action.