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Chester Vase preview

The highlight of day two at Chester is the Vase for 3yo colts and geldings. It might be a small field but it's a classy one as we lead into the Derby. Making his blog debut is Jack Milner. You can read more of his excellent work on his blog or by following him @jjmsports.
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The Chester Vase is another one of the fine races in the Chester May festival, a Group 3 contest over the extended mile and a half, given the twists, turns and general undulations associated with Chester's track, it is a true test of a three-year-old thoroughbred colt, and as such, is seen as something of a Derby trail. Last year's winner, Treasure Beach, beat the eventual King George winner Nathaniel here, holding him comfortably, by a very flattered neck. He followed that up with a second in The Derby at Epsom behind Pour Moi, and winning The Irish Derby ahead of multiple bridesmaid Seville, as well as going onto Grade 1s in North America. This is a race for good horses.

Good looking horses from some of the heavyweights of the bloodstock world have made the grade this year, with recent UAE Derby fourth Mickdaam returning back to Richard Fahey from Mike De Kock, to be aimed at The Derby at Epsom. The son of Dubawi ran a good second behind Rougemont in the Tattersalls 3 year old Trophy, running on well, and the step up in trip should bring further improvement out of a horse who seemingly does not know how to run a bad race.

Galileo seems to hold all the aces in terms of breeding the very best in thoroughbred colts, siring last years winner Treasure Beach, the machine that is Frankel, and far too many to go into. As such, the Mrs Fitri Hay horse Minimise Risk has to be respected on pedigree alone. He won a better than average maiden over eleven furlongs on soft ground at Newbury, showing that the colt stayed very well, considering he still showed sprouts of greeness. Although he should come on for the run, and with experience, he looks a little out of his depth here, but wouldn't be surprised to see him win pattern races throughout the summer. Similarly Model Pupil, who beat the highly respected Shanatram of John Gosden's at Newmarket last month on good ground over ten furlongs. The form has worked out very well for the Charlie Hills horse with the third and the fifth coming out and winning well, by eight and eleven lengths respectively. It requires a massive step up in class however against already proven group performers.

It is rare to see John Oxx have horses sent over unless he thinks they have a considerable chance, and automatically warrants respect for the 105 rated Call to Battle. The King's Best colt demonstrated tremendous improvement last year, stepping up from a maiden win, to stay on well on soft ground in a nine furlong listed race at Leopardstown. Although the form has worked out poorly, he has scope for improvement, and finished second in the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown, behind the Jim Bolger Teofilo colt LIght Heavy. He had the 112 rated David Livingston in behind that day, however I can see the striking Gailleo colt turning the form around.

Ballydoyle look to have the answers again and DAVID LIVINGSTON, who showed himself to be open to plenty of promise when winning a good maiden over seven furlongs at The Curragh in June. Solid efforts in the Futurity Stakes and the National Stakes before winning the Group Two Beresford Stakes on heavy ground, over a mile, a race with a who's who of previous winners, including St Nicholas Abbey and Sea The Stars. His form indicates a preferance for soft ground and a real stamina test, conditions he should relish at Chester, and on pedigree, is expected to train on as most Galileo's seem to realise their potential at three and four. His run over ten furlongs in the Ballysax Stakes should have got him race fit and that extra bit sharp, and he looks to bring more glory back across to the Emerald Isle, and continue the Ballydoyle tradition.

The Yorkshireman - Jack Milner

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