Watch the MBNA Chester Vase live on Channel 4 at 2.45pm
The MBNA Chester Vase is a key Derby trial and, though it’s unlikely that there winner of next month’s big race at Epsom is lurking in this field, it’s nevertheless a very strong Group 3 contest in its own right.
Aidan O’Brien invariably means business when it comes to the Chester Vase and fields two in this year’s renewal, Carlo Bugatti and Orchestra. Both should relish going up in distance here, but I reckon the Irish raiders will be thwarted by SEAGULL STAR.
He looked a decent prospect when landing a Newmarket maiden on debut in October, and shaped well on his reappearance at the same track last month when third in the valuable Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Trophy.
The son of Sea The Stars hails from a yard in cracking form and should be in his element now upped to a mile-and-a-half, a trip very much in keeping with his excellent pedigree. William Hill go 9/2 at the time of writing and that looks pretty good value to me.
Count on Coronas
The opening race on day two of the Chester May festival is the IG Handicap, and the one I like the look of is TRES CORONAS who scored over this C&D at last year’s meeting.
He was consistent and progressive in 2013, winding up that campaign by finishing third in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket. He’s gradually been coming to the boil this time round and did well to finish as close as he did when fifth behind Sennockian Star at Epsom last month.
David Barron’s charge meets that rival on 6lb better terms this time and, with the pace likely to be frenetic in this Class 2 handicap, things should pan out nicely for the seven-year-old. At 13/2 with Paddy Power, Tres Coronas rates a solid option.
Ektihaam can trump Telescope
The Betfair Price Rush Huxley Stakes is a fascinating contest. Telescope was given a thumping by Noble Mission at Sandown on his reappearance, but Ryan Moore didn’t give him a hard time and the ground was pretty testing on that occasion.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt can reverse the placings with Noble Mission this time, but they may both struggle to cope with EKTIHAAM if the Invincible Spirit gelding is able to put his best foot forward back from a 285-day absence here.
Roger Varian’s charge was impressive when landing a Listed race at Ascot this time last year and he could prove hard to peg back if, as expected, he adopts his usual front-running style round here. Lap up the 3/1 with BetVictor is my advice.
Thursday Racing Tips:
1.45 Tres Coronas
2.45 Seagull Star
3.15 Captain Bob