A Look Ahead To The Chester Boodles May Festival
Author: Tom Wilson
May 1 - The flagship meet in the Chester racing calendar, the Boodles May Festival is quickly approaching and it is gearing up to be another great one. The festival - as ever - will feature one of the oldest races in the entire flat racing calendar in The Chester Cup.
The festival also boasts the Chester Vase, which is a very important race in the calendar, as it is the first trial for the Epsom Derby. The Chester Vase is the first trial in the racing calendar that is the same length as the actual Derby.
The Chester Cup - originally established in 1824 as The Tradesmen's Cup - is a prestigious race that has featured some brilliant winners in the past. After not impressing in its first two years, Trip to Paris won the Cup in 2015, and the gelding then went on to win the Ascot Gold Cup.
With the Chester Cup less than a month away, some favourites are starting to emerge in the horse racing betting. The race will be hard to call, so we will be taking a look at some horses that could do the business.
Galapiat: 8/1 (Favourite)
Mark Johnston's horse is current favourite thanks to his impressive run of form since his debut earlier this year. The four-year-old has won two races so far, the first of which was a 9/1 winner at Leicester, where he started well and finished even better. The bay colt came out of the stalls confidently and trailed the leader all the way before choosing the right time to make his move and overtaking.
He had to meet a higher weight in his last outing, but Franny Norton rode him well to overcome that hurdle as he won his class 3 run at Epsom earlier this month. Galapiat led for the majority of the race and finished very strongly following a very mature run. He looked confident ahead of his Chester Cup run and it's clear to see why he is favourite.
Sea of Heaven: 10/1
Sea of Heaven is a little more experienced with a total of 14 runs. The five year old has not stopped improving since his debut back in 2015 and looks like a worthy contender for this prestigious race.
The gelding hasn't managed a win since his victory at Ascot in July but has done well ever since. Sea of Heaven narrowly missed in a very good run following his July win as he came in close second to Arch Villain.
He led for the later stages of the race and when the majority of the pack moved forward to challenge him, he held his ground well and continued to lead. Arch Villain pushed on closer towards Sea of Heaven in the final stretch and the gelding couldn't return blows, coming in a very respectable second.
Blakeney Point: 12/1
The gelding's latest outing was a narrow win in a class 2 race at Kempton, where he ran against a rather un-impressive field but still needed to run well to win. Before this race he hadn't ran since October and showed signs of rust throughout. He led towards the end of the race, finishing well despite a lot of pressure from the rest of the field.
Other noteworthy runners include: Endless Acres at 12/1, Magic Circle at 14/1 and Nakeeta at 14/1.
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