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2017 Chester May Festival tips - Expert selections for every race at Chester on Thursday

Racingbase Staff in UK Racing 11 May 2017
Racegoers watch the action at Chester on Wednesday.

Our expert takes a look through the card on the second day of Chester’s May Festival and offers readers some expert tips.

After the excitement of the Cheshire Cup and the Cheshire Oaks Stakes yesterday, the action doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon as we enter the second day of the May Festival. Chester racegoers will be treated to several thrilling handicaps today and a couple of lucrative Grouped contests, including the Chester Vase and the Huxley Stakes.

Our expert has taken a look through the field contesting every race on the second day of Chester’s May Festival and has picked out a contender in each race for punters to keep an eye on.

1:50pm Gateley PLC Changing The Legal Landscape Handicap Cl2 1m2f

Khairat followed an unlucky defeat with two solid victories to finish off an impressive three-year-old season. Jim Crowley takes the ride on Sir Michael Stoute’s charge and the favourite has been handed a favourable drawn in stall one. However, with the favourite offering very little value at the head of affairs, a chance can be taken on BERKSHIRE defying top weight and winning on his handicap debut.

Paul Cole’s six-year-old is used to keeping much higher quality company than this, having lost out to the likes of Western Hymn, One Foot In Heaven and Decorated Knight at various points last season. Before injuries disrupted his progress, he beat Mutakayyef to the 2014 Darley Stakes title and made an encouraging return to action during a busy campaign last year. Jamie Spencer’s experience in the saddle could be crucial and his draw in stall four will also be a nice boost to his chances.

1:50pm Chester selection – BERKSHIRE 

2:25pm Huxley Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f

Sir Michael Stoute has an excellent record in this race and his inform colt, Poet’s Voice has to be respected. Deauville ran really well to come home just a length behind an impressive Ulysses in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown. Royal Artillery was well fancied to take that title, based on last season’s strong form, but he struggled for pace on his reappearance and came home a disappointing fourth.

John Gosden’s charge certainly has the ability to bounce back with an improved performance and currently sits at an inviting price, but so does FOLKSWOOD and he has been the model of consistency for Charlie Appleby over the past couple of seasons. He flew the Godolphin flag with excellent style out in Dubai during the off-season, winning a 61k handicap before being beaten by a neck to the Group 1 Jebel Hatta title by Decorated Knight.

He returned to action at Newmarket last month with a half-length defeat to surprise package, Steel Of Madrid in the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes, but he should come on from his British reappearance and looks dangerously overpriced.

2:25pm Chester selection – FOLKSWOOD 

3:00pm Boodles Diamond Handicap Cl2 7f

Via Egnatia was heavily backed on her reappearance at Newmarket and it was a big surprise to see John Gosden’s filly slip from the front of the pack to a five-length defeat in third. She will be the favourite once again and an inside draw will help her chance of carrying top weight to the title. She will be giving away weight to several inform contenders, like Aventinus, Areen Heart and Mutawatheb.

One filly to have scored a victory in her last outing was SHARP DEFENCE, who carried a price of 4/5 to an easy victory in a Class 5 at Salisbury. John Patrick Shanahan sent her on an unsuccessful venture to Meydan just after Christmas, but encouraging performances towards the backend of last year and over the opening weeks of this season shows his filly has plenty of speed and promise.

3:00pm Chester selection – SHARP DEFENCE each-way 

3:35pm MBNA Chester Vase Stakes (Group 3) 1m4f

Cunco came out on top in the battle of the Frankel progeny at Sandown last month, when he outstayed Frankuus and Monarchs Glenn to win over 10 furlongs. Saeed bin Suroor will have been mightly impressed with Tamleek’s reappearance victory at Newmarket, as he stretched clear of that Class 4 field to win by four lengths

Aidan O’Brien’s name dominates the list of entries for this race as he trains four of the eight horses who will line up in the stalls. The Anvil comes to Chester on the back of a good win in Ireland, but the one for all the entries to beat will be VENICE BEACH.

He the only horse in the field to have won over a mile-and-a-half before, with that victory coming on his latest appearance, when he destroyed a handy field by over five lengths at Tipperary a few weeks’ ago. Ryan Moore has chosen to ride his a Chester this Thursday and it will take an excellent performance to deny this son of Galileo a second seasonal win.

3:35pm Chester selection –

4:05pm English Fine Cottons EBF Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race) Cl3 5f

Dahik ran really well to come home just half a length behind Koditime on his maiden bow for Roger Varian. Jim Crowley takes the ride, he’s been drawn nicely in stall three and if he can build on that debut performance, he could be hard to beat.

Drawn alongside the favourite in stall two is DRAGONS TAIL, who also impressed on debut last month when he came home third,  just two lengths behind 1/3 favourite Never Back Down in a Class 5 at Leicester. A slow start didn’t help his winning chance on that occasion, but if he can come out of the blocks as well as Dahik on his outside, he could build on that debut outing.

4:05pm Chester selection – DRAGONS TAIL 

4:35pm T&L Leasing Handicap Cl3 6f

Full Intention and Poets Society have been handed decent midfield draws and both have to be respected on the form they’ve both shown so far on the all-weather. Everyone knows and inside draw is so important here at Chester, especially in these short distance sprints, so Andrea Atzeni’s mount, ZAMJAR must have an excellent chance.

Ed Dunlop will have been delighted with his performance in a good race at Newbury last month, when the 50/1 shot came home fifth out of 15, just two-and-a-half lengths behind the winner. He’s been in decent form on the all-weather so far, but his record on turf last summer was one win and two runner-up finishes in three starts. He looks very reasonable priced from a plum draw.

4:35pm Chester selection – ZAMJAR 

5:05pm Virgin Atlantic Handicap Cl3 1m2f

Kapstadt returns to the flat after a successful venture into the National Hunt world during the winter. He’s been handed the desired draw in stall one, but they firm ground won’t do him any favours. The partnership of Richard Kingscote and Tom Dascombe have an excellent record here at Chester and favourite Caponova brings winning form with him on his return to Chester.

ENERGIA FOX is yet to win at Chester in five attempts, but Richard Fahey’s mare has run well here on several occasions and will enjoy the better ground, having spent the off-season running on the all-weather. She finally ended a run of eight-straight defeats since arriving from Marco Botti’s yard, when cruising to victory over today’s trip at Newcastle. She carried 9-10 to victory that day at Newcastle and carrying almost a stone less here on her return to Cheshire, she could be well placed to land a maiden Chester victory.

5:05pm Chester selection – ENERGIA FOX

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2017 Chester May Festival tips - Expert selections for every race at Chester on Thursday

Our expert takes a look through the card on the second day of Chester’s May Festival and offers readers some expert tips.

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