Boodles City Day provides a perfect opportunity to make a prompt start to weekend activities with a visit to the final day of the Boodles May Festival at Chester Racecourse on Friday afternoon.
Racing commences with the Crabbie’s Earl Grosvenor Handicap run over the specialist distance of seven furlongs. Amongst the entries are two course and distance winners, Ice Slice and Hillbilly Boy, trained locally by Tom Dascombe who is very superstitious. He said: “I watch the first race in a particular spot and if we win, I stay there. It’s ridiculous, it means I move more if our runners are beaten until I find a spot where they win!”
The quality of the racing continues with two more historic flagship races; the first being the Homeserve Dee Stakes, with a prize fund of £75,000, a race which has again attracted an entry from Aidan O’Brien in the form of a lightly raced Galileo colt, Cliffs Of Moher, named after one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland who currently heads the betting. The colt signed off his 2016 season with an easy five and half length success when relegating his stable companion, Orderofthegarter, to second place. Other fancied runners include Mirage Dancer trained by Sir Michael Stoute and the Charlie Appleby trained Bay Of Poets.
Better known for his success in the national hunt sphere, local trainer Donald McCain has a good strike rate with his Chester runners and is remembered for his front running Overturn, the Boodles Chester Cup winner in 2011. Culmination represents the yard in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes but may find the pace challenging. US Army Ranger is the shortest price in the early betting. The horse won the MBNA Chester Vase 12-months ago for trainer Aidan O’Brien in a thrilling finish when beating stable companion Port Douglas by a short head. He was placed third on his 2017 seasonal reappearance at Naas last month and comes with a reputation to defend.
Other supporting races on the card includes the LDF Conditions Stakes where speed is vital over the five-furlong trip and this may suit Roger Varian’s runner, Double Up who has been close up in recent outings and is overdue for a win. Fancied horses in the TMT Group Maiden Fillies Stakes are Highland Pass and Desert Rain.
The DW Sports Apprentice Handicap closes the festival and provides budding jockeys with an opportunity to experience the turning nature of the Roodee racecourse where the proximity of the crowd is an education for racehorses.
Click here to purchase tickets to the final day of the Boodles May Festival. The next meeting at Chester Racecourse is Roman Day on Saturday, 27 May 2017.