Chester Boodles May Festival day two Thursday 9th May 2024

Thursday is Boodles May Festival Ladies Day at Chester. The main event on Thursday is the Ormonde Stakes with a handful of familiar faces lining-up on a racecard which also contains a few tricky handicaps. My sole bet on Wednesday up on the Roodee was a winner in the shape of Hidden Law but the colt appeared to break down at the road crossing after taking the Chester Vase and was immediately dismounted by William Buick. He was attended to on the track, but sadly could not be saved.

Best bets for day two of the Chester Boodles May Festival

The Listed 1m2½f Boodles Raindance Dee Stakes is due off at 3.05, this can be seen as a Derby trial though the last horse to win both races was Kris Kin in 2003. This year the market is headed by Gods Window a winner of a three-runner 1m½f Novice Stakes at Nottingham last month at long odds-on. Having won on debut at two his only other start in 2023 was when third in the mile G.1 Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster on heavy going back in October. A general 20-1 shot for Epsom at the moment Thady Gosden said of the colt this week “He ran a good race to be third after slightly missing the break at Doncaster in the Futurity last year and then he won in very uncomplicated fashion on his return at Nottingham. He has taken a good step forward for that and he’s back into stakes company now. Of course, it’s a hot race, but he goes there in good order.” Capulet blotted his copybook when third in the mile Woodford Reserve Cardinal Conditions Stakes (The Road To The Kentucky Derby) at Chelmsford City last month at odds-on behind the re-opposing Bracken’s Laugh. He took a bump just over a furlong out there and was staying on but never looked like winning. The son of Justify was twice placed at Group Two level as a juvenile, chasing home stablemate Diego Velazquez in the Golden Fleece at Leopardstown before finishing third behind Ghostwriter in Newmarket’s Royal Lodge. There is every chance he will come on for the run at Chelmsford and should appreciate the step-up in trip, still in the Derby entries,  but as it stands his only win in four races was a Dundalk maiden on debut so he has it all to prove at the moment. Rider Ryan Moore said in his Betfair column “My colt probably didn’t run up to his best on his return behind Bracken’s Laugh at Chelmsford, but hopefully he will have sharpened up for that run, this 10-furlong trip will suit, and he can return to his two-year-old form.” Jayarebe is being aimed at the G.3 Hampton Court at Royal Ascot rather than the Derby by Brian Meehan with the trainer not wanting to step-up further than 1m2f at this stage of the season apparently (is entered in the 1m4f G.2 King Edward VII Stakes). Richard Hughes also has Royal Ascot in mind for Bracken’s Laugh saying this week “We’re happy with him, so he’ll go and do his best and we’ll see how we get on. We’ve had no hiccups since Chelmsford and we’ve been happy with his prep. It would be nice to win a Listed and then go Group Three at Ascot, but we’ll see. We could be taking on a Derby horse in God’s Window, but there’s only one way of finding out.” I have gone with Gods Window as if he is going to run at Epsom he needs to win a race such as this against rivals that have generally already had their sights lowered. I am on at 5-2.

The 1m5½f Group Three Supporting Racing Ormonde Stakes at 3.40 looks a decent enough renewal and there are a couple in here I have backed in the past. Arrest has become a bit frustrating and was off the pace in seventh in the G.1 1m4f Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes on his seasonal reappearance last month (tipped on here). You’d expect him to strip-fitter for the run, this trip should suit better and he did win the Chester Vase Stakes last season so the course holds no fears. “We know he handles the course and distance and it seems a logical place for him,” said Barry Mahon of owners Juddmonte this week. “He’s going back up in trip and we know that will be fine, he handles Chester, so the track will be fine, and I think he will come on plenty for his first run at Newbury. Obviously, we thought he was ready to run and he just caught us out a little bit with his fitness. He wasn’t as far on as we thought, but he’s improved plenty for the run and we look forward to seeing him again.” Point Lonsdale is the runner for Aidan O’Brien and another with form at the meeting having won the 1m2f G.2 Huxley Stakes last term off the back of a victory in a G.3 at the Curragh. The five-year-old did not win again in 2023 but put in a few good efforts at a decent level including when fourth in the G.1 1m2fChampion Stakes and third in the G.2 1m2f Bahrain International Trophy. He arrives race fit after being campaigned in the Middle East earlier this year, ran in the G.3 1m4f H.H The Amir Sword and Trophy and the G.1 1m4f Sheema Classic, but the trip is an unknown and almost looks like last chance saloon for him, if he doesn’t stay where do ‘the lads’ go with him next? Deauville Legend looks the one likely to give the two market principals most to think about. It’s a tough race as Arrest would probably prefer it softer and Point Lonsdale is going further than ever before plus the string from Ballydoyle, by their standards, are perhaps in a bit of a slump. I have sided with Arrest at 7-2 see the trip out best and in the hope it doesn't dry out too much.  

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