MR Top Hat defied being drawn in stall 13 to win at Chester on Thursday and continue David Evans’ purple patch.

It was the trainer’s seventh success since the start of the month. It was a welcome change of luck for the horse, who never runs a bad race but has finished runner-up ten times, while only winning once before.

At the same course Lihou, who was second at the same meeting in 2018, went one better by winning a six furlong handicap. Dropped back from seven, having a good draw and bit of cut in the ground meant he had conditions in his favour.

Earlier last week Evans had won three races in the Channel Islands, including the Guernsey Derby with Herm. That horse is named after one of the many smaller islands, as is Lihou. Their owner, Mr Galienne, hails from Guernsey.

The stable’s leading two-year-old fillies Chasanda and Good Vibes are entered in a Listed race at York on Friday. The former won at Windsor last month, a course where her dam Miss Chamanda – in the same ownership and also trained by Evans – won three times. Good Vibes, owned by Paul and Clare Rooney, is a relatively expensive horse for the yard, costing £35,000 as a yearling. She overcame greenness to win at Salisbury at the end of April.

Last December Robert Stephens brought Beltor back from a 624 day absence to win at Taunton. The horse was one of the favourites for the 2015 Triumph Hurdle, where he finished sixth, only for injuries to curtail his subsequent career. His first run of 2019 was too bad to be true, and a fourth place since then offered hope that he was on the mend.

He scored again at Newton Abbot last Wednesday, wearing a visor for the first time. That could account for a comfortable nine-length victory, but the trainer believes a small field on good to soft ground suits him. Beltor is still only eight and he might be able to overcome the inevitable hike in the ratings.

Bernard Llewellyn sponsored most of yesterday’s card at Chepstow, which was held in aid of Tenovus Cancer Care. He deserves to win back some of his money and had six runners due to take part, plus four more at yesterday evening’s Ffos Las meeting. This fixture was transferred at short notice from Wincanton due to the firm going there. The stable only just missed out when Petrify was a close second on Thursday, having suffered interference in the middle of the race that cost him much more ground than the neck by which he was defeated.

Meanwhile, on the flat David Probert has ridden winners for six different trainers since the start of month, and with a total of 46 in 2019 so far, he has every chance of topping his best ever figure of 107 in a calendar year.