Racing returns to Chester for May Festival

The first of three top-class days of action take centre-stage at Chester on Wednesday as the May Festival gets underway on the Roodee.
Chester racecourseChester racecourse
Chester racecourse

All three days of the meeting are live on Racing TV, with four races per day also available on ITV Racing. We’ve previewed the pick of the action on day one.

The feature race of the day is the £80,000 G3 Chester Vase Stakes at 3.15pm. Two winners this decade Ruler Of The World (2013) and US Army Ranger (2016) have gone on to land the Derby and Aidan O’Brien is set to be represented by Sandhurst (5/1). The three-year-old was only sixth on his return in the Craven Stakes, but looked in need of a longer trip on that occasion. This step up in trip looks sure to suit.

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Godolphin are well-represented in the contest and Wirko looks to be a leading player. The three-year-old was a narrow winner of the Listed Blue Riband Trial at Epsom on his debut this term and looks sure to be suited by the sharp undulations at Chester. The general 9/5 favourite, he is a leading player along with Godolphin’s other contender Law Of The Sea (4/1) who easily won a Leicester novice event last month.

Tom Marquand and Andrew Balding team up with the unexposed Youth Spirit (4/1) who shaped with promise in the Listed Fielden Stakes at Newmarket last time out. The field are completed by Fancy Man (9/2) who was fifth in the Fielden and Pleasant Man (10/1) who was third in a novice contest at Windsor on his seasonal debut.

Elsewhere on the card, the £60,000 Cheshire Oaks boasts a roll of honour which of course features the mighty Enable who recorded a stunning success in 2017, before going on to win the Oaks at Epsom.

Frankie Dettori, John & Thady Gosden have an interesting candidate for this year’s renewal in Darlectable You. A sister to the likes of Too Darn Hot, So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar, the daughter of Dubawi has filled the runner-up position on her first two starts, including on her reappearance at Newbury last time out.

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She is a 3/1 chance for this event, which features the unbeaten Zeyaadah who is the 5/2 favourite. An impressive winner in Listed company at Newmarket towards the back-end of last season, she looks a fascinating runner.

The Coolmore operation are represented by two runners. Nicest (4/1) is trained by Donnacha O’Brien and was fifth when favourite for a Group contest at the Curragh in August, whilst his Donnacha’s father Aidan saddles La Joconde (8/1) who is still a maiden after five runs.

Franny Norton is dubbed ‘The King of Chester’ given hi experience at the track and partners Dubai Fountain (5/2) for Mark Johnston. An excellent fourth in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last term, she gives the impressive this trip will suit. The seven runners are completed by recent All-Weather winner Quenelle D’Or (28/1) and Fozzy Stack’s Irish raider Ahandfulofsummers (18/1).

Chester Selections

1.45pm Armor

2.15pm Darlectable You

2.45pm Showalong

3.15pm Sandhurst

3.45pm Good Listener

4.15pm Kingsofthemidlands

4.50pm Sir Maximilian

Odds and analysis via Betfair