Exciting Declarations Ahead of City Day | Chester Racecourse
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Exciting Declarations Ahead of City Day

80 runners have been declared at the 48-hour stage ahead of the first day of the Boodles May Festival on Wednesday 8th May.

The curtain raiser of the three-day meeting is the Stellar Group Lily Agnes Stakes. The Archie Watson trained Electric Ladyland has won on both of her starts to date on the all-weather and will benefit from her sex allowance. Other horses who come into the race on the back of a win are Great Dame, Show Me Show Me and Iva Reflection. The Richard Fahy and Tom Dascombe trained colts both winning on their sole starts.

The Cheshire Oaks has an impressive roll of honour, with the likes of John Gosden’s superstar filly Enable taking the race back in 2017. The Newmarket trainer has declared two horses in this year’s renewal in Mehdaayih and Fanny Logan, both winners on their last start. The Ralph Beckett trained Manuela De Vega will look to build on her two wins last year on her seasonal reappearance. Aidan O’Brien runs Secret Thoughts, who cannot be ignored for a trainer who is always extremely successful at this meeting and took the 2018 running of this race with Magic Wand.

Leodis Dream looks to continue his fine run of form in the Boodles Diamond Handicap, the David O’Meara trained three-year-old is currently sitting on a quartet of wins from his last four runs. The first runner at the May Festival for Dr Marwan Koukash will be No More Regrets who will be hoping to get Chester’s leading owner off to a winning start!

The feature race on City Day is the MBNA Chester Vase. The Group 3 contest currently holds eight entries at the 48-hour declaration stage, three of those coming from the Aidan O’Brien yard. After a wonderful Guineas double at Newmarket over the weekend, O’Brien will be looking to continue his fine run of form during the May Festival with Norway, Gentile Bellini and Sir Dragonet. However currently sat at the top of the market is King Ottokar for trainer Charlie Fellows, the horse has form on soft ground; this can be taken as a real positive with rain forecast on Wednesday.

Sneaky Peak looks to be a strong contender in the SportPesa Maiden Stakes, his second place on his once and only start has been backed up by the winner who has gone onto win again since. William Haggas, who trained the winner of the Chester Vase in 2018 has declared Faylaq, who after disappointing runs last season, may have strengthened over the winter and cannot be looked over due to his strong connections.

Pass The Gin might be a punters favourite for the penultimate race on day one of the festival, however Chapelli trained by Mark Johnston has been the model of consistency on his last few runs without winning and will be ridden by one of the course’s most successful jockey’s in Franny Norton. Course and distance winner Wild Edric will take his chance and could prove a welcome winner for local trainer Tom Dascombe.

The HR Owen Maserati Handicap rounds off the action on Wednesday. With 14 runners, the race is sure to be an action-packed finale. Champion Jockey Silvestre De Sousa takes the ride on course winner Dark Intention who although quiet since, won at the course last September. Richard Fahy, Paul Hanagan and Dr Marwan Koukash, winning connections of last year’s renewal, are represented by Penwortham.