Sometimes inspiration for a ‘clever’ headline is sadly lacking and today is one such day, so we’ll crack on with our selections for the first day of the Chester May meeting, with five races on ITV.

Card starts at 1.45 with the Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes over the minimum trip and named, as we are sure you know, after a horse which won the Ebor in  1875.

Just 5 go to post and we like the look of the only filly in the line up Devious Angel, trained by Chester specialist Tom Dascombe.

This young lady made a promising debut at Newmarket before destroying her field in a Class 4 event at Southwell, winning by 6 lengths. Well drawn in Trap 2 and with Richard Kingscote back up top, let’s have a win bet at 5-2 to get us off to a flyer.

Next up is the Cheshire Oaks at 2.15 and, although any amount of improvement can be expected from 3-y-o fillies, they’ll all have to go to beat Braveheart‘s runner, Dubai Fountain.

Typically busy as a 2-y-o, this daughter of Teofilo was placed twice at Group level before ending her season with a fourth in the Group 1 Fillies Mile at Newmarket, finishing just a neck behind 1000 Guineas heroine Mother Earth.

Best form on offer by a country mile, so rely on Franny to do the biz at 7-4.

Handicapping at 2.45, with the Tote Handicap again over the minimum trip and we think this will go to Showalong from the Tim Easterby yard.

Winner of two from four as a 2-y-o, including a Class 3 event at York, this Showcasing colt made a promising reappearance at Thirsk last month and will find today’s ground conditions much more suitable than the Good to Firm in Yorkshire.

We are not alone in fancying this one’s chances, so it’s strong in the market but at 15-8 still warrants a fair punt.

With a ‘dead eight’ field we can’t resist a minor each way bet on the worst named horse in the field, Ey Up It’s Maggie at 12-1.

Tony Coyle‘s runner was thought good enough to contest Group and Listed events last year and an opening handicap mark of 77 could be lenient.

And so on to the Chester Vase at 3.15 – just six runners and a Godolphin ‘shorty’ at the head of the market.

We go for Fancy Man, trained by Richard Hannon to relish the step up in trip after a satisfactory warm up over shorter at Newmarket. No wimpying about, have a win bet at 5-1.

Last televised race is the Handicap at 3.45 and our pick (Tanfantic) has just been announced as a non-runner, which, with time constraints, leaves us with little option but to swerve the race. Sorry.

For whatever reason, ITV are showing the 2.30 from Newton Abbot, a 2m 5f chase with a field of 9.

We think this can be safely left to Lalor, which put in such a good run at Aintree last time out after a long absence. The drop down to today’s trip is ideal and an each way bet at 9-2 is recommended.

Right, that’s it – we are off to enjoy all the action in the IPL.

Or maybe not.


Devious Angel 1.45 Chester 2pts win @ 5-2

Dubai Fountain 2.15 Chester 4pts win @ 7-4

Showalong 2.45 Chester 4pts win @ 15-8

Ey Up It’s Maggie 1pt e/w @ 12-1

Fancy Man 3.15 Chester 2pts win @ 5-1

Lalor 2.30 Newton Abbot 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2

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