Aidan O’Brien was the big winner at the weekend as Magna Grecia and Hermosa completed a Guineas double at Newmarket. Now attention turns to Chester and the three-day Boodles May Festival.
It all gets going on Wednesday, where the Cheshire Oaks and the Group 3 Chester Vase are the standout contests on a four-race card live on ITV4. We’ve tipped up the tasty quartet of renewals in our ITV Racing Tips.
You only have to look at the Guineas over the weekend to know the O’Brien yard is in perfect working order at the moment. So it’d be churlish to dismiss the talents of Norway in the Chester Vase.
A full brother to 2013 Epsom Derby winner Ruler of the World, who also won this race en-route to his Classic success, the progressive colt is a Listed winner who finished fourth in a French Group 1 last time.
The Ryan Moore-O’Brien combination has produced the winner of this race in five of the last six years. Providing the rain stays away and our tip has the quality to overcome a tough draw, it should be six from seven here.
Ballydoyle has farmed this race over the last decade too, taking five of the 10 most recent runnings. O’Brien and Moore have teamed up for four of those and they go again with Secret Thoughts in 2019.
The War Front filly won a maiden at Naas last season and returned with an encouraging fifth behind subsequent 1000 Guineas runner-up Lady Kaya at Leopardstown in April. That’s decent form.
Her pedigree suggests she should stay the 1m 3½f required to win this Listed contest, too, and with the trainer boasting a sublime record in the race, a chance is taken on the filly at a nice price.
There’s something oh so tempting about a horse with a name like Recon Mission. But it’s not just an attractive moniker which makes the three-year-old an interesting each-way play in the Boodles Diamond Handicap.
His form is decent too. Tony Carroll’s charge won twice over in Ireland with Michael O’Callaghan and resumed that progress for his new yard when just under a length behind Leodis Dream at Sandown last month.
The pair reaffirm rivalries here, but with our tip 2lb better off at the weights. If he can bounce out of the stalls and assume the pace, then there’s every chance the Kodiac colt can hit the frame once again.
ITV Racing Tips:
1:50 Chester – Great Dame
2:25 Chester – Secret Thoughts (NB)
3:00 Chester – Recon Mission (Lively Longshot, each-way)
3:35 Chester – Norway (NAP)
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication