Chester Tips: Abide By The Law

Gaz gives his top tips the first day of the Boodles May Festival at Chester as Wirko looks to confirm his Derby credentials.

In my opinion this time of year is the best period of the Racing calendar. The Guineas is now out of the way and all roads lead to Epsom. The trials for the Derby come thick and fast over the next couple of weeks, with the Chester Vase on Wednesday the next one up.

Something To Sea

The Chester Vase Stakes (15:15) has been slightly diminished by the fact two Ballydoyle runners have been scratched. That means only six will go to post. Even with the small field it’s still a very interesting contest. Sandhurst is the lone Ballydoyle runner and, while he needs to be respected given his trainer’s record in the race, he needs to improve for this step up in trip. I mentioned in my review of the Craven meeting that the Aidan O’Brien horses had run flat, and Sandhurst was one of those. His breeding suggest he’ll be better over this distance, but I’m happy to take him on in this race.

Fancy Man and Youth Spirit are others who have been running over shorter distances and should improve stepping up in trip. You could make a decent case for both of those runners, but they aren’t for me personally. I think this will come down to the Godolphin pair of Wirko and Law Of The Sea. Wirko won the Epsom Blue Ribband Trial last month and is a deserved favourite.  It would be nice to see him win here and put down a marker for the Derby. Law Of The Sea has really impressed me in his last two runs and he’s my bet. He’s been running at a lower level than most of his rivals, but has oozed class. Both his victories this season have been under a hands and heels ride and I think he has a lot more in the tank. With bags of stamina he should run a big race.

Time To Listen

The tote+ Pays You More At tote.co.uk Handicap (15:45) is an interesting contest and one horse in particular sticks out to me. That is Good Listener for the Richard Hannon stable. Hannon has been in good form recently and has a 17% strike rate over the last 14 days. If you backed all his runners over the last fortnight to a £1 stake you would be in profit to the tune of £43.98. After being gelded during the winter Good Listener blew off the cobwebs on the all-weather at Wolverhampton two weeks ago. That should have him spot on for this one. He runs here of a nice mark, gets weight all round, and has a great inside draw in stall 4. Thore Hammer Hanson takes another 3lb off his back and at 13/2 he looks a great each way bet.

SRD Selections

15:15 Chester – Law Of The Sea (9/2) Win

15:45 Chester – Good Listener (13/2) Each Way