Chester May Festival – Day 3

If you were backing the favourites yesterday then there’s no chance you’ll be up reading this right now, as yesterday was a day where the majority of horses that should’ve won, won.

Kicking things off on the final day in the with the 1.50 7 furlong Class 2 contest here and I like the looks of this market leader here if truth be told in El Hayem (9/4) for Sir Michael Stoute and Andrea Atzeni. All of his previous starts have been over a mile and he was a close up sixth in the Spring Cup at Newbury last time  out on a fast surface. If handling this shorter and slightly the sharper test he should certainly be there or thereabouts. Another one I like here is Rene Mathis (7/1), this is a horse that could get one over on the handicapper here as his mark has been left unchanged following his victory over Custom Cut last time out. He won two decent handicaps off this mark too a couple of years back, a certain player at a decent price. You could also take a chance on Hillbilly Boy (14/1), he’s got a bigger mark to go off than previous successes here and a difficult draw but it doesn’t completely rule him out as he does like it around here.

The 2.25 is the Listed Dee Stakes and is headed by a very hot favourite in AP O’Brien’s Cliffs of Moher at odds on. He was a very impressive winner when last seen at Leopardstown and if staying the trip is a clearly a huge player here. However the one I like at a much more backable price here is Mirage Dancer (4/1) for Sir Michael Stoute and Oisin Murphy. I actually saw this horse’s debut at Doncaster last time out in October and he stayed on to win well that day. He’s got a top class pedigree as he’s another Frankel offspring and with a few fancy entries to his name he’s sure to make a bold bid here.

The 3.00 is another 5 furlong sprint and is currently headed by a horse that I backed last time out when I was at Doncaster to see him win quite impressively from the front in Rich And Famous. He’s only been raced on good and fast ground so if there is rain as the forecast states that could be an issue and he’s also not got the best of drawers in stall 8. The one I would be willing to take an each way chance on here is Tomily (13/2) for Richard Hannon and Ryan Moore. He’s done well on the all weather this year and finished back in third in the Sprint Final at Lingfield. He also ran a big race when runner up in a listed contest at Doncaster last season and the drop back down to five furlongs shouldn’t be an issue. Moore chooses this one over Partitia.

3.35 is the Group 3 Diamond Stakes and the market leader here is US Army Ranger for AP O’Brien and Ryan Moore. He won the Chester Vase last season in somewhat controversial style and then went on to be second in the Derby behind Harzand, since those to runs his career has somewhat gone on the decline. I can’t be backing him at the prices here judging on his form at the back end of last season, he may well hack up as there really is no excuses here but not for me. Midterm’s last couple of runs have looked a bit lackluster however if the rain comes that will certainly enhance his chances. However I’d be opted to take a couple of each way chances on Western Hymn (8/1) for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori and Red Verdon (8/1) for Ed Dunlop and Pat Smullen. The first of these Western Hymn goes well fresh an got into the frame in several group races last season whereas Red Verdon would certainly be there or thereabouts if putting in one of his best performances of which we saw last season when finishing in the frame in a few Group 1 contests.

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