The opening race on the final day of Chester’s May Festival is a Class 2 handicap over 7f at 1-45. Captain Bertie ran no more than a solid race in the Spring Cup at Newbury last time out but could go close here if a change of tactics are employed. Back in his two year old days he made all to win a maiden over this C&D, reverting to those tactics under Ryan Moore he will go very close.
Aidan O’Brien has a formidable record at Chester, especially when teaming up with Ryan Moore and Magician can improve that record in the Dee Stakes at 2-15. Magician progressed with each two year old start and routed a decent field when shedding his maiden tag. His last placed finish in a Group Three at Leopardstown is best ignored as he was badly hampered when bang in contention. The step up in trip looks to be in his favour and a big run is expected.
The Ormonde Stakes at 2-45 looks a match between Mount Athos and Memphis Tennessee. Mount Athos progressed through the ranks last year and developed into a smart performer at this level, he put up a very good effort in the Melbourne Cup and is respected here. However, it could be that regular partner Ryan Moore opts to ride Memphis Tennessee (though contracts/agreements may dictate his choice). He won this race last year and his two solid Derby efforts looks the best form on offer. It is significant that he has been kept in training as a five year old and he’s still lightly raced so there could be plenty more to come from him this year.
Chester Selections: Captain Bertie 1-45, Magician 2-15, Memphis Tennessee 2-45, Storm Moon 3-15, Clockmaker 3-50, Oasis Spirit 4-25 and Van Percy 5-00