Chester Boodles May Meeting - Day One

After a tough Guineas Festival for me, Tahiyra will hurt for a while, we are straight into the Chester May meeting. I have said it before and I will say it again, the Boodles May Festival is a fantastic three days of racing at a great little track and if you have never been I thoroughly recommend it. We have three days of action to look forward to on the Roodee and I will be concentrating on the meeting for the next few days; if you can't make it to the track ITV Racing are there as are the team from Sky Racing. 

The draw is often a factor at Chester, most of you won’t need me to remind you of that, and with the going officially good-soft you may want to keep an eye on the weather as rain is forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

Best bets for the horse racing at Chester - day one Boodles May Meeting

They get underway on Wednesday at 1.30 with the 5f Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes for the two-year-old speedsters. It is a race best watched. The first race I am betting in is the Listed 1m3½f Weatherbys Digital Solutions Cheshire Oaks at 2.40. I mention on the Trainers and Jockeys page that Aidan O’Brien has a 41% strike-rate at Chester and anything they send over for the May meeting is well worth a look and he has Savethelastdance in this. An easy winner over 1m2f at Leopardstwon last month she has a nice draw in stall five here and you would expect this longer trip would suit her just fine. Very short at 8-13 she looks a solid bet though. Ryan Moore wrote on his Betfair blog “I haven’t ridden her in a race yet, but I saw the back of her as she beat me on Boogie Woogie in some style over 10 furlongs at Leopardstown last month and the runner-up won well for me at Naas afterwards. That victory was a massive step up from her debut effort at two, but there was no fluke about it and this beautifully-bred Galileo filly out of a Grade One winner in the States is clearly an exciting prospect. It was heavy at Leopardstown but the expected better ground here should be fine, though rain is due all week I see, so it may be testing by race time.” Luckin Brew appears the danger if she sees out the longer trip; two of her three full-siblings were better over shorter but Antonia De Vega was a Group winner over middle-distances.

The Group Three 1m4½f Boodles Chester Vase Stakes is due off at 3.15. Making his three-year-old debut, Arrest is the short-priced jolly, though running in this is apparently Plan C for the colt. Barry Mahon, European racing manager for the Juddmonte operation, explained why the race is a third option. “Chester is probably not his ideal track, but we were meant to go to Sandown and unfortunately it was abandoned with the rain. The Vase was Plan C as originally we were going to the Dee Stakes (on Thursday), but the forecast is giving plenty of rain coming in on the Wednesday afternoon and night, so we said we’d go for the fresh ground on Wednesday. He is ready to run and we are hopeful he will run a nice race if he can handle the turns and undulations of Chester.”  He finished his season with a good effort when second in the 1m2f G.1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud on heavy; Adelaide River six lengths back in third. Adelaide River also makes his seasonal debut and has to be shortlisted if only for the fact connections have such a good record in this race. You would expect Arrest to win off the back of the French form but with connections getting in plenty of excuses early I can’t be backing him odds-on. It certainly didn’t go to plan for Adelaide River at Saint-Cloud and it would not shock me if he got a lot closer, if in fact couldn’t beat Arrest here. At 7-2 I am taking a chance the son of Australia can gain revenge.

In the lucky last, the 7f Everyone's Turf Handicap at 4.55, Roman Dragon caught my eye in the entries. As one that hasn’t been seen in a while and has a couple of duck eggs next to his name you may wonder why but he is a bit of a course specialist with all three of his career wins coming over 6f at this course, the latest off the same mark of 84 he runs off of today. He has gone over 7f here twice, finishing fourth and third; stall fourteen hasn’t done him any favours though! Broken Spear won this in 2021 and was fourth last year and is on a workable mark now but is perhaps passed his best at seven and hasn’t won since November 2021. Paws For Thought has to be shortlisted on a 3lb lower mark than when caught in the shadow of the post in this race last year. A bit of a course specialist as well, has run here on eight occasions winning twice and placing up a couple of times, a mark of 81 today certainly gives him a chance as does stall 6 as Paul Mulrennan should be able to get him in a nice prominent spot early which the gelding will enjoy. Any rain that arrives shouldn’t over inconvenience him and at 7-2 I am on as I think he can go one better than last year.

Be lucky