Chester May Festival Day 3 – Tips Through Friday’s Seven-race Card
Chester May Festival Friday Tips
Chester is the main midweek attraction with the course playing host to three days of top-class action for their May Festival. In anticipation of what promises to be an unmissable card on the Roodee, our racing expert has produced tips through Friday’s Day 3 card. Also, check out today’s best bets – which are free to view on site now.
Fools Rush In (1.30, ICM Stellar Sports Earl Grosvenor Handicap)
Plenty in with chances for this extended 7f handicap, with the market unsurprisingly headed by Boardman, who came with a rattle to score at Haydock last time and acts well at this venue.
At a slightly bigger price, however, preference instead goes to FOOLS RUSH IN, who proved most progressive in 2021, winning four times including a valuable handicap over this course and distance.
Those victories came for Tom Dascombe but with Hugo Palmer the man in charge at Manor House Stables nowadays Fools Rush In makes his first start for the trainer. A winner on last season’s reappearance, running fresh shouldn’t inconvenience Fools Rush In and in any case given his connections and his record at this track he’s likely to be coming here primed to run a big race.
Although fairly versatile in regard to tactics expect Fools Rush In to be ridden prominently here from stall 4, and if let loose on the front end he should prove tough to peg back.
Recommended BetFOOLS RUSH IN (1:30pm Chester) 13/2 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Mujtaba (2.05, Deepbridge Handicap)
This can go to the William Haggas trained MUJTABA, who failed to taste defeat in three starts last season, including in a novice at this track.
This Shadwell gelding’s best showing, however, came when victorious on handicap debut at Redcar in October, when pulling clear of a field of seasoned handicappers, the form receiving a subsequent boost courtesy of the second.
Mujtaba was backed into favouritism for the Lincoln on seasonal reappearance, yet that may have just come a little too soon at this stage of his career, with the 4yo ultimately finishing tenth (beaten 5l).
This rates a weaker assignment for Mujtaba and the track evidently holds no fears. He is yet to race beyond a mile but his running style, particularly his battling Redcar victory, suggests he will benefit from stepping up to this trip, and therefore he rates as the one to be with here.
Recommended BetMUJTABA (2:05pm Chester) 5/2 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Megallan (2.40, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing IRE-Incentive Scheme Huxley Stakes)
The best bet on the Chester card on Friday appears to come in the Group 2 Huxley Stakes, where MEGALLAN takes to the track for John & Thady Gosden.
Aside from two runs in France Megallan’s form figures last year read 2121, landing a Salisbury Group 3 in August where he had Solid Stone back in fourth.
This Kingman colt returned to the track with a creditable second at Newmarket last month, when bumping into a potential Group 1 operator in Master Of The Seas. The front two pulled well clear of the remainder that day, and the run is expected to have teed Megallan up nicely for a tilt at Friday’s race, with his prominent race tactics expected to be well suited to the demands of this track.
Recommended BetMEGALLAN (2:40pm Chester) 1/1 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Cleveland (3.15, Tote+ Chester Cup Handicap)
The Tote+ Chester Cup is the feature race on the final day of the May Festival, and as always, the race has attracted a smart field.
Topweight Falcon Eight is back to defend his Chester Cup crown, and although running off a 5lb higher mark he actually physically carries only 2lb more than last year, so must enter calculations.
If there is the potential for one in this lineup to be something of a handicap blot, however, it is CLEVELAND.
Aidan O’Brien’s colt has always seemingly been held in a quite high regard at Ballydoyle, and despite missing the whole of 2021 it seems notable that connections persevered with Cleveland, the son of Camelot making his first start since November 2020 when fifth in the Listed Devoy Stakes at Naas in March.
That form has worked out well since, with the winner going in twice subsequently, and Cleveland actually performed better than his finishing position suggests, just losing two places in the shadows of the post.
That run is expected to have brought Cleveland on plenty, and on that form a mark of 97 looks well within reach. There’s enough stamina in both sides of Cleveland’s pedigree to suggest that he will stay this trip, whilst it’s already been mentioned how well Ryan Moore has been riding here this week.
Recommended BetCLEVELAND (3:15pm Chester) 13/2 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Acklam Express (3.45, Boodles Secret Garden Conditions Stakes)
A tricky race to assess. King’s Lynn was runner-up in this 12 months ago and is expected to be ready to go on reappearance, albeit 6f is probably his optimum nowadays and his profile is not the one of a horse you would want to be taking a short price about.
Flaming Rib should be more comfortable back sprinting having been ridden to try and stay 7f in the Greenham last time, but at the prices, ACKLAM EXPRESS just gets the vote.
Nigel Tinkler’s star disappointed in two British starts last year, but he had been Group 1 placed in Dubai prior to that and once again ran well over in Dubai back in February, just bumping into the classy Godolphin sprinter Lazuli.
Acklam Express admittedly failed to back that showing up last time, but he’s going to appreciate dropping back to the minimum trip here and a tight track is expected to keep him interested, so there’s enough in his price to put him up as an advised play here.
Recommended BetACKLAM EXPRESS (3:45pm Chester) 6/1 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Kalaroun (4.20, White Oak Apprentice Handicap)
Scampi is expected to prove a warm order for this extended 1m4f handicap having seemingly won without having to come off the bridle at Wolverhampton last time. Andrew Balding’s charge was 0-12 prior to that victory, however, not looking the easiest ride at times, so from stall 11 his 5lb claimer could have his work cut out here.
A chance is taken on the Irish raider KALAROUN here, who runs for Tara Lee Cogan, a name perhaps not that familiar on British racecards.
Kalaroun was picked up for €36,000 at the sales in November after landing a Dundalk handicap for previous trainer Mick Halford. He has had just the four starts since joining current connections, catching the eye when staying on for fifth (despite being hampered) in a mile handicap at Limerick last month.
Going up to this distance looks a likely plus on that evidence, and connections have enlisted the services of top 5lb claimer Zak Wheatley for the ride, who has been amongst the winners of late.
Recommended BetKALAROUN (4:20pm Chester) 17/2 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Hydroplane (4.55, Tote+ Chester Plate Handicap)
Franny Norton and Venetia Williams teamed up to land this prize 12 months ago and have yet another interesting contender here in Bellatrixsa, who is fit from a spell over hurdles.
A closer look at last year’s renewal, however, suggests that HYDROPLANE could be well worth siding with here.
Ian Williams’ 6yo finished third in this race last year and gets in here running off the same mark, despite the horses that finished first, second, fourth and fifth all now finding themselves on higher marks.
Hydroplane has been running in some competitive handicap hurdles this year and looks particularly interesting back on the level, with Jim Crowley a positive booking.