The flat fun continues with a trip to Chester for the first of three days racing down on the Roodee for the May Festival. Here are the ITV races for you:
1.50 – Stellar Group Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Class 2) (2yo): Tricky to evaluate properly but Show Me Show Me’s Brocklesby form has been working out well by and large and she might be good enough to defy a penalty and also stall 8 with a good break. Great Dame, Top Buck, and Electric Ladyland are all threats whilst Iva reflection will need to have improved upon his Doncaster win.
Advice: 1 pt win Show Me Show Me (5/2 general)
2.25 – Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks (For The Robert Sangster Memorial Cup) (Listed Race) (Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo): A really interesting and competitive trial as the Oaks picture heats up. Aidan O’Brien has a strong hand in the race and he might well have another option here in the shape of Secret Thoughts. She was fifth on her return in the Irish 1,000 Guineas trial, and that form has worked out very well since with Lady Kaya finishing second in the 1,000 Guineas and the second Happen taking the Athasi Stakes, and this daughter of Irish Oaks winner Chiquita is sure to enjoy a step up in trip. Mehdaaiyh and Fanny Logan give John Gosden a strong hand whilst Manuela De Vega built on her maiden victory at Salisbury (7f) when winning the Silver Tankard Stakes in good style at Pontefract. Grace and Danger will love cut in the ground but so will Vivid Diamond, who was beaten just a neck at Listed level last November. That cut in the ground might have brought some improvement from her and she could be worth having onside about this.
Advice: 1 pt win Secret Thoughts (4/1 general), 1 pt each/way Vivid Diamond (14/1 general)
3.00 – Boodles Diamond Handicap (Class 2) (3yo 0-105): There are a few in form sprinters here which ought to make for a fast and furious race. Recon Mission made a good debut for Tony Caroll’s stable when he was a close fourth to Leodis Dream and Sandown on his return and whilst that took place on goof to firm ground, more cut in the surface ought to be no problem for the ex-Irish colt and he can give us a good run for our each/way money.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Recon Mission (10/1 general)
3.35 – MBNA Chester Vase Stakes (Group 3) (Colts & Geldings) (Class 1) (3yo): The ground could play a big part here and King Ottaker, a two-time winner on soft ground, might take advantage. He found the Vertem Futurity Trophy too much for him on his second start and he stayed on well when he beat Dashing Wiloughby and Kaloor in a Newbury conditions contest. It is fascinating that Aidan O’Brien is putting Sir Dragonet, a colt who made a winning debut at Tipperary (12.5f) just 13 days ago in fine style, in here. The son of Camelot is a confirmed stayer who won’t mind the ground, whilst Norway, who has the best form in the race, is untested on a soft surface. Technician might have won the Classic Trial at Sandown with a clear passage and has form on good to soft, and he ought to really relish the step up in trip here. He’s the clear threat.
Advice: 1 pt win King Ottaker (5/2 general)