Top trainers appreciate the value of running classic prospects at Chester in preparation of a tilt at the premier classic races in June with all the top Newmarket trainers represented. The races are all about fulfilling first season potential and race outcomes are that anything could happen!
This appreciation of Chester is reflected in the entry for the Weatherbys Bank Cheshire Oaks (for the Robert Sangster Memorial Cup) on Wednesday when ten of the initial entries appear amongst those bidding for classic glory in the Investec Oaks next month.
Aidan O’Brien is responsible for three entries; Amazing Beauty, Why and Wonder of Wonders, currently available at 20-1 with leading bookmakers following a success at Tipperary last week.
Perennial supporter at Chester is Barry Hills. His entry is Blaise Chorus, who is yet to lose her maiden tag after two outings on the all-weather, the latest over in France at Deauville when finishing third. Another maiden is the local representative, trained by Tom Dascombe, Sunday Bess who is by the Japanese sire Deep Impact. The filly was second on her only outing last season and made a seasonal debut at Newbury last month, finishing fourth.
The MBNA Chester Vase on Thursday gives the colts an opportunity to negotiate the Roodee bends, potentially on route to the Investec Derby at Epsom. Nathaniel, whose sire Galileo was successful at Epsom, is quoted at 33-1 in the ante post market for the Derby on the back of a most impressive success at Haydock Park. The colt was backed down to a prohibitive 1-20 favourite and coasted home unopposed by nine lengths. Slumber has already won over 10-furlongs at Epsom, landing the first classic trial of the season and Sir Michael Stoute’s Sea Moon was an easy winner of his maiden at Yarmouth in October 2010 and is open to any amount of improvement.
Clerk of the Course Ed Gretton reports the track as being in good condition despite rainfall only being 10mm in recent weeks. “Each day we will move the running rail out to provide fresh ground,” added Gretton.
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