The final day of the Chester May meeting is upon us, rounding off a decent few days where we might not have seen any absolute superstars but the winners of both classic trials should both line-up at Epsom next month and wouldn’t be without hope of making the frame in Group One races this season.
Aiden O’Brien continued his dominance in the Vase with a 1-2-3 and our selection Venice Beach won like an improving horse who should still have plenty left to show. Wings Of Eagles was an eye catching second and to say he wasn’t given a hard time of it would be an understatement. Enable won the Oaks trial and should be good enough to pick up some more prizes this term; she may have given the form of stablemate Shutter Speed a massive boost but connections think Epsom might be more suitable for Enable, so form could easily be reversed there if both ran.
On to the final day and we again have a good card highlighted by the Ormonde Stakes, which has proved a stepping stone on to bigger things for some in recent years, with big name winners Harbinger and St Nicholas Abbey in recent years.
We’ve tried to keep our selections to a minimum and just focus on a few again.
2:25 Dee Stakes: CLIFFS OF MOHER is the big name lining up here as the current second favourite for The Derby and it is hard to see beyond him. Beaten on debut he won his only other start as a two year old when defeating Orderofthegarter, who has looked a very impressive so far this year, and should be a step above the rest here. For forecast purposes, Mirage Dancer won well on debut and is of interest being a son of Frankel.
3:00 5f Handicap: It’s interesting that EVERGATE was switched to sprint specialist Robert Cowell and immediately stepped-down in trip to the minimum of five furlongs. He has finished second on both starts this season but has a great chance to go one better here from a nice draw and bottom of the weights.
3:35 Ormonde Stakes: An interesting renewal that looks pretty competitive and has a few contenders lining-up who are looking to get their careers back on track after not living up to expectations. Midterm was a leading hope for last year’s Derby but failed to line-up after injury and disappointing in the Dante. He has an impeccable pedigree and you could easily see him being a leading older horse in typical Sir Michael Stoute style, with his patient approach often paying off.
Another who failed to live up to expectations last season and gets the nod from us here is US ARMY RANGER. After winning at this meeting last year he went on to finish a good second in the Derby before his form tailed off in three subsequent runs. Aiden O’Brien has said that he perhaps rushed him to get him ready for the Derby and that impacted on his later form; with a more patient approach this year and having had the winter to properly grow into himself I’m hoping he can live up to previous expectations.
Western Hymn and Diamonds Pour Moi would also be of interest if showing their best.