Day two of the Chester May meeting features the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes and the listed Dee Stakes and will be run on easy ground with the current ground called good to soft (soft in places)although that could ease with plenty more rain in the forecast. The ITV cameras also bring us a class 4 race from the all-weather at Southwell. Here are my free horse racing tips for the day’s terrestrial action.
The second day kicks off with an eight-runner class 2 5F handicap. The draw is of obvious importance here again and I could fancy Andrew Balding’s top weight King’s Lynn if he were drawn lower (he’s drawn 8 of 8 today) especially with Ryan Moore riding. He can still run well as can George Boughey’s Navello who has winning course form here (2 wins from 5 starts) and has fallen to a nice mark. He also sports a first-time tongue tie and looks a value each-way play.
Look Out Louis is unbeaten in three starts at this turning track including this race last year but has not fared well with the draw and is a stone higher than last year’s win.
Lihou arrives in very good form, taking his good all-weather form onto the turf with an Epsom victory a fortnight ago and with just a 2lb rise is another with every chance.
A tricky race but I’ll chance the Boughey runner who is 5lb lower than his last win which came here last June and should appreciate stepping back onto the turf with course specialist jockey Franny Norton in the saddle. Let’s hope all eight run as he can be backed each way.
NAVELLO 1 point each way @ 15/2 with William Hill
An eight-runner class 4 0-85 3-year-old handicap is up next. Ed Bethell has his string in good form and saddles Yorkshire here who came from some way back to get up on the line here in March over 6F and stepping up a furlong may well suit this son of Harry Angel although that form is not working out that well. Preference is for the Archie Watson trained A Taste Of Honey who bowled along in front when beating a subsequent winner at Lingfield on her re-appearance and with Hollie Doyle taking over from Luke Morris could be the answer with just a 3lb rise to overcome.
The Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Choisya also comes into the reckoning on her latest run ten weeks ago when runner-up at Kempton but it’s A Taste Of Honey for me.
A TASTE OF HONEY 1 points win @ 9/2 with William Hill
A field of nine assemble for this 7F 127-yard class 2 0-100 three-year-old handicap. John and Thady Gosden’s top weight Theoryofeverything is making his handicap debut and has plenty going for him bar his outside draw. A winner at Doncaster on his debut and third in the Greenham he has a Group 1 St James Palace Stakes and Dante entries so is obviously well thought of. If James Doyle can overcome that wide draw he should be thereabouts.
Andrew Balding’s Vetiver is also making his handicap debut and having made all to win at Beverley last time could have been let in lightly off of 90 and from stall 3 is my idea of the likeliest winner.
Promoter’s Chepstow win at Chepstow last September came at the expense of a Charlie Hills horse who has won three times since and is currently rated 90. Promoter gave him 7lb and a 1 1/2L beating that day so looks interesting off of only 90 himself from stall 1. It’s hard to split them three but at the prices, I’ll take Ralph Beckett’s Promoter each way with a small win-saver on Vetiver.
PROMOTER 1 point each way @ 9/1 with Bet365 1/5th 123
VETIVER 1 point @ 7/2 with William Hill
Eight go to post for the listed Boodles Dee Stakes run over 1m 2 1/2F. It has an open look about it this year with possibly Sir Michael Stoute’s Wood Ditton winner Passenger worth an each-way bet. It’s rare for a Stoute horse to win the first time out but this son of Ulysses won well that day despite being easy to back in the market. He’s one of just two horses in the field that have no future group entries (outsider Afterwards is the other) but I do know that Ryan Moore was very impressed that day and he can run well.
Moore has to ride for his retained Ballydoyle owners and San Antonio who broke his duck in a Dundalk maiden and although that form wouldn’t be good enough has to be respected as his trainer Aidan O’Brien has won 7 of the last 10 renewals of this race. The Godolphin runner Local Dynasty must also have claims although he has to shoulder a 3lb penalty today.
The other Irish challenger Alder is trainer by Aidan O’Brien’s son Donnacha and arguably brings the best form to the table as he was placed behind Auguste Rodin in a Group 2 as a juvenile and was a ready winner at Cork last month.
A tough contest with so much un tapped potential but let’s give Passenger a go under Richard Kingscote for the same combo as last year’s Epsom Derby victors.
PASSENGER 1 point each way @ 5/1 with William Hill 1/5th 123
A decent renewal of the 1m 5 1/2F Group 3 Ormonde Stakes which has attracted a field of 8. Last year’s winner Hamish must go close on his favoured easy ground and even with his 3lb penalty for his Ascot win last October is the highest-rated of these. He was beaten close home by the re-opposing Max Vega at Newbury in the St Simon Stakes at Newbury last October and his stable could be in better form with just 2 winners from their last 19 runners.
Israr runs here rather than carrying a big weight in the Chester Cup later in the week and won’t mind the soggy conditions but his last run last year was disappointing and has 8lb officially to find with Hamish.
The horse who I think will take plenty of beating though is the Aidan O’Brien runner Changingoftheguard who was so impressive at this meeting last year when running out a 6L winner from New London in the Chester Vase. A credible 5th in the Epsom Derby followed before a short head victory in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, missing out for a penalty for this race by a couple of months. O’Brien and Ryan Moore do so well at this meeting that he must hold a big chance.
CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD 2 points win @ 3/1 with William Hill
A maximum field of fourteen line up for this 1m 2 1/2F class 3 handicap for 4-year-olds and upwards rated 0-90. The race has a wide-open look about it with plenty holding claims.
Local handler Hugo Palmer would love a winner around here and saddles Box To Box who’s unbeaten in two starts here and should run well if James Doyle can navigate a passage from stall 12 of 14. Andrew Balding’s City Streak ran a good second here over course and distance last summer and hasn’t been disgraced in two starts since. Proven on soft ground he could well be the answer with plenty in his favour under Oisin Murphy from stall 8.
Richard Hannon’s Amo Racing-owned Thunder Max is blinkered for the first time but has questions to answer on rain-softened ground. A tough race but I’ll stick with 2000 Guineas-winning trainer Andrew Balding and his City Streak.
CITY STREAK 1 point each way @ 5/1 bet365 1/5th 123
All odds are accurate at the time of writing.
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