Chester Cup the highlight on final day of May Festival
The three-day Chester May Festival comes to a close on the Roodee today (Friday) with the highlight of the meeting, the Chester Cup taking centre-stage. We have previewed the pick of action.
As already alluded to, the £125,000 Chester Cup is the highlight of the meeting and is live on ITV4 at 2.45pm with 17 runners going to post.
The 6/1 market leader is Not So Sleepy, a talented hurdler who won the Betfair Exchange Trophy for the second successive year at Ascot in December. He also finished a fine fourth in the Cesarewitch on the Flat at Newmarket in October.
Others towards the head of the market include Rare Groove (17/2) who returned from a 559 day break to finish a good second at Newcastle in March, before going one better at the track in April.
He is progressing with every run and is respected. Future Investment (8/1) was only 11th in the Cesarewitch, but is another capable of further improvement, along with Irish raider Falcon Eight who represents Irish trainer Dermot Weld. The son of Galileo has been gelded since finishing third in a Group company at the Curragh in June.
Hochfeld (12/1) is another to note having finished second at Nottingham on his latest start, whilst Trumpet Man (12/1) has the services of the King of Chester Franny Norton and is also respected. Cardano (12/1) was second in a competitive event at Musselburgh last time out and cannot be overlooked along with Coeur De Lion (12/1), a talented stayer who does however need to rediscover his best form. Themaxwecan (12/1) and Who Dares Wins (12/10 are others who warrant a mention.
Elsewhere on the card, five runners go to post for the £100,000 G2 Huxley Stakes (2.15pm). The exciting Sangarius heads the market as the 11/10 favourite for Sir Michael Stoute. The son of Kingman was a winner at Royal Ascot winner in 2019 and was seen back to his best when successful in the Listed Quebec Stakes at Lingfield in December. He has undergone wind surgery since and looks an exciting prospect for this term.
Armory (2/1) progressed with every run last term, including when scoring in Group company at the Curragh in August. He finished an excellent third to stable companion Magical in the G1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September, before finishing a fine second in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in October. He is capable of further improvement this term.
Bangkok (4/1) was behind Sangarius at Lingfield in December, beaten a nose, but has since gone on to land the Winter Derby and Easter Classic at Lingfield on the All-Weather. He reverts to turf here, but is a big player. Pavalecino (12/1_ was second to Bangkok in the Easter Classic and completes the field along with Bharani Star (28/1), sixth in the Oaks at Epsom last term.
1.45pm Brentford Hope
2.45pm Falcon Eight
3.15pm El Astronaute
4.50pm Heart Of Soul
Odds and analysis via Betfair