Chester Vase Betting Tips & Predictions – Wednesday 8th May 2019

Chester’s spectacular May Festival gets underway this Wednesday and the Chester Vase is one of the top picks of the opening day. It’s recognised as one of the trial races for the Derby and 2017 Vase runner-up, Wings of Eagles, went on to win the big race at Epsom.

Aidan O’Brien has eight wins to his name in this race, making him the leading trainer of the 111-year-old event. He stands the chance of claiming more glory this year thanks to his three entries but the trio look like they may be foiled by Charlie Fellowes’ King Ottokar.

Top Tips

King Ottokar to win @ 4/1

Sir Dragonet each way @ 8/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Race Info

A nearly rain-free week ahead of this race has helped firm up the turf a little on Chester’s sharp track. Forecast for the big day is heavy showers though so the going is likely to change. Horses will find themselves turning for large parts of this race due to the circular nature of the course so getting a spot by the rail is crucial. A low draw can often be important here and not just in short distance races.

GoingDistanceGroupPrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good 1m 4m 63y Group 3 £101,000 10 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

The Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien combination were previously on a five race winning streak but this fine run came to an end when they were forced to settle for third place last year.

By losing their streak, the run of winning favourites also went up in smoke. Last year’s champion Young Rascal hardly produced much bigger returns than normal though, setting off as the 100/30 second favourite.

2018 Young Rascal 100/30 William Haggas James Doyle
2017 Venice Beach 5/2 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2016 US Army Ranger 4/11 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2015 Hans Holbein 7/4 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2014 Orchestra 3/1 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore

Analysis: Wednesday rain can play a crucial role

When the final declarations were made, good was the official going at Chester. There’s little chance of things getting any firmer but conditions may turn towards the softer side if the forecast holds true. Should heavy downpours lash down at Chester on Wednesday morning, this could well play into the hands of King Ottokar who is yet to win except on soft ground.

Vase fit for King

Although yet to previously attempt a mile and a half contest, King Ottokar looks fully prepared for the Chester test. Last month at Newbury he impressively held off a decent Class 3 field to ensure his season began on a positive footing. There was plenty left in the tank that day, the Charlie Fellowes-trained horse should have no issue travelling an extra two furlongs. You also have to consider that his yard has a fine record of producing three-year-olds over the years. Fellowes’ posts a decent level stakes profit for horses of such age on turf as his runners often go a little under the radar.

Norway in good hands

O’Brien’s decision to pair up Norway with Ryan Moore gives us a strong indication of where the Irishman believes his best hopes lie this Wednesday. Despite ending last season as a beaten favourite, a fourth place finish in an overseas Group 1 contest is hardly any cause for concern. When last on British soil, the chestnut colt claimed a Listed win at Newmarket despite finding it tricky to navigate past the traffic. There’s no questioning his ability to perform on firmer ground but with no good to soft experience, the weather forecast is a concern.

Sir Dragonet with eye-catching debut

Not too much was expected from Sir Dragonet on his debut but the 14/1 shot made light work of the field at Tipperary. Quickening during the end of the 12 furlong test, the son of Camelot had absolute no issues with the trip nor the good to soft ground. A little more experience coming into this race would’ve been ideal but this is reflected more than fairly by his 8/1 price. Not all horses deal with the jump up in class after a minor win but Aidan O’Brien’s colt looks more likely to flourish than not.

Final Verdict: King Ottokar to win

Given the amount of rain that’s predicted to fall before this race, we’re having to back King Ottokar due to his record on softer ground. Should the weather experts get things wrong however, this should be enough to give the edge to Norway. In either case, Sir Dragonet makes for a tempting each way bet on the back of his promising debut for those of you seeking longer odds.

Other Races of Note at Chester

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