Guests enjoying the superb Chester May Festival hospitality packages are sure to be thrilled by a brilliant days racing action after an excellent first day. Trip to Paris produced a brilliant performance to snatch the Chester Cup away from Quick Jack. While Diamondsandrubies absolutely bolted up in the Cheshire Oaks for Irish supremo Aidan O’Brien. Here is our preview of day two’s big races.
Betfair Huxley Stakes – Group 3 1m2f
The first group race of the meeting is the Huxley Stakes run over one-mile-two-furlongs. Cannock Chase is the 2/1 favourite for the lethal team of Ryan Moore and Sir Michael Stoute. The four-year-old won a Group 3 on his final start last season and reappeared with a third at Sandown recently, he will come on for the run and has the plum draw. Air Pilot was a highly progressive performer in 2014, finishing a close third in a Group 3 before winning a listed event on his final start, has to be respected and won’t be inconvenienced by softer ground. Windhoek is an interesting contender despite the fact he concedes weight all-round, he is a tough and consistent performer and could be difficult to pass should he hit the front.
An interesting contest with plenty of improving types, Air Pilot will appreciate a bit of cut under foot and is improving with every run. But Cannock Chase looks to have a bit of class about him, he will come on for his first run and could be tough to beat.
MBNA Chester Vase – Group 3 1m4f
The second Group 3 of the day is the Chester Vase one of the big trials for the biggest events in horse racing of the the Epsom Derby. Aidan O’Brien has trained five winners of the race since 2007, and in 2013 Ruler of the World went onto win the Derby on the back of winning the Chester Vase. This year he saddles 5/2 favourite Hans Holbein, who enters the race off the back of a maiden victory at Leopardstown. He will certainly have to improve on that effort but he will love the ground and his trainer’s record in the race can’t be ignored. Future Empire represents the Godolphin team and has an excellent chance on form. His second to Christophermarlowe in a Derby trial at Epsom looks rock-solid form, but there is a slight question mark over the softer ground for Saeed bin Suroor’s runner.
This race looks to be between Hans Holbein and Future Empire. Both have progressive profiles and while Future Empire has the better form in the book, Hans Holbein represents a red-hot trainer who loves this race. He just gets the nod.
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