Day 1 of the three day Boodles Festival meeting at Chester kicks off this afternoon, with five races on ITV.

A slightly low key start has the Group 3 Boodles Chester Vase at 3.10 as the centrepiece and features the return to action of Charlie Appleby‘s unbeaten colt New London.

Given that this horse is only 5-1 for the Epsom Derby, it’s little surprise to see it trading at 1-3 and even less of a surprise that we are no bet.

First up on the card is the Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at 1.30, which will be fast and furious over the minimum trip.

We see no compelling reason to oppose the favourite, Star Of Lady M, which is unbeaten in two and greatly favoured by the softening of the ground on the Roodeye.

David O’Meara‘s charge is well drawn in Trap 2 and should be backed at 5-4.

The Chester Placepot Handicap at 2.05 is also a 5f affair (oh goody) and we’ll take on the short priced favourite with Navello.

Already a CD winner on similar ground, George Boughey‘s youngster has been targeted at this race and should give us a run for the hard-earned. We suggest an each way dip at 9-2.

The Cheshire Oaks at 2.40 has Joseph O’Brien‘s entry Above The Curve installed as the 6-4 jolly after her impressive Maiden win at Leopardstown and there is little doubt that that represents the best visible form. Big question mark, however, is this huge and still green filly’s ability to act round the unique contours of this track and, on balance, we prefer to back the second in, Night Battle.

The Crisford‘s runner produced a sparkling turn of hoof to win going away on her racecourse debut at Leafy four weeks ago and future Group entries suggest an even better performance today. With ‘man of the moment’ Popeye Doyle up top, we recommend a win bet at 100-30.

Coverage closes with the Deepbridge Handicap at 3.40, in which we recommend a bet on the only Maiden in the field, Buckshaw Village.

Richard Fahey‘s entry ran a race replete with promise last time out and is well handicapped on 2-y-o form. At 6-1, this may be a corking each way punt.

ITV have also selected the 4-runner 1.50 Handicap Chase at Newton Abbot for our delectation and delight, but, with all four runners finishing tailed off in their latest runs – thanks, but no thanks.

Back tomorrow to look at much more competitive fare.


Star Of Lady M 1.30 Chester 3pts win @ 5-4

Navello 2.05 Chester 1pt e/w @ 9-2 (2 places)

Night Battle 2.40 Chester 2pts win @ 100-30

Buckshaw Village 3.40 Chester 1.5pts e/w @ 6-1 (4 places Skybet)

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