As the curtain comes down on another fantastic Chester May Festival, we take a look back at some of the highlights enjoyed by Eventmasters guests enjoying the superb Chester May Festival hospitality packages. Despite the wet conditions there was some pulsating action for racegoers to enjoy and it once again highlighted why the May Festival is one of the most popular meetings in the horse racing calendar.
Day one of the Chester May Festival provided us some excellent action to kick-start the week. The first big race was The Cheshire Oaks which is always a thrilling contest. The 2015 renewal went the way of Ireland and Aidan O’Brien as Diamondsandrubies stormed to victory by six-lengths. Ryan Moore kept his mount on the rail until two furlongs out before switching and leaving the field quickly behind to claim a comfortable success. Next came the Chester Cup, one of the biggest handicaps of the season. Ed Dunlop and Graham Lee swooped late with Trip to Paris who got the better of the favourite Quick Jack, despite coming off the bridle a long way from home. But he had the greater stamina reserves and battled his way to a three-quarters-of-a-length victory.
Day two was Ladies Day and featured two Group 3 races and both were high class affairs. The Huxley Stakes included several horses with highly progressive profiles and went the way of Maverick Wave. The John Gosden trained four-year-old made the running and stayed on well for a half-a-length-victory over Cannock Chase. Despite the fact he was lightly raced on turf he showed a good attitude and could be one to follow this season. The feature race of the day was Chester Vase a traditional trial for the Epsom Derby. It was no surprise to see Aidan O’Brien in the winners’ enclosure once again, he has now won six of the last eight runnings. Hans Holbein entered the race with just one win to his name, but showed he has a touch of class. He made all the running under Ryan Moore and was driven clear two-furlongs out and registered a good win, which forced him into Derby contention.
The final day of the meeting provided hospitality guests with more top-class racing action. The heavy conditions meant that there were several non-runners, the first big race of the day was the Dee Stakes. With just four runners it was anybody’s race and it went the way of the outsider Not So Sleepy. It was another victory for the frontrunners as Jim Crowley sent his mount to the front, and despite the late surge of Disegno he held for a victory by the smallest of margins. The final group race of the meeting was the Diamond Ormonde Stakes over one-mile-five-furlongs. Tac De Boistron was the hot favourite on the back of his outstanding form in 2014, but it was 8/1 shot Clever Cookie who proved his stamina in the gruelling conditions. The Peter Niven trained seven-year-old wore down the favourite in the final furlong to claim his Pattern race victory and made it a big race double for Graham Lee, after his win in the Chester Cup. Lee finished the meeting as the top jockey and Richard Fahey was once again top trainer with three winners.