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2021 Chester Vase Tips - Godolphin runner the one to catch

  • We've published our guide to the 2021 Chester Vase
  • This Epsom Derby Trial headlines the card on day one of the Chester Festival
  • Sir Lamorak is the favourite to hand Aidan O'Brien another win
  • Wirko is our best bet at 7/2
William Buick riding Wirko (L, blue) win The Blue Riband Trial at Epsom Racecourse. (Getty)
Jon Vine 04 May 2021
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The opening day of Chester's popular May Festival is headlined by the Chester Vase. This Group Three was first run at this historic track in 1907, and it's been won by future Classic winners like Indiana, Ruler Of The World and Shergar.

We've taken a look through the early betting for this year's Chester Vase and picked out our best ante-post bets.

2021 Chester Vase Odds

Sir Lamorak6/4
Youth Spirit13/2
Law Of The Sea7/1
Fancy Man9/1

*Odds taken from William Hill on 4/5/21*

2021 Chester Vase Runners

Sir Lamorak2021 Chester Vase FavouriteGET 6/4 HERE
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Given its similarities with Epsom - with its big, sweeping left-handed turn, and tricky undulating track - the Chester Vase is a Derby Trial that Aidan O'Brien always targets. O'Brien has saddled nine of the last 13 winners of this Group Three, so it's no surprise to see his raider, Sir Lamorak topping the ante-post betting.

Having finished behind stablemates on both of his juvenile starts, Sir Lamorak got off the mark at Dundalk on his reappearance this season. Ryan Moore's mount then flew home from the rear to claim an impressive victory in a handicap at Leopardstown on his last appearance. 

While Sir Lamorak was very impressive that day, the form of both his victories this term doesn't look up to much. Another worry for favourite backers would be the form of the yard. Aidan O'Brien has had ten three-year-olds run in England in 2021 - prior to Sunday's 1000 Guineas - and the best result any of the has managed was Ontario's third behind Tactical in the European Free Handicap.

A strong field featuring many horses who're proven at a higher level is sure to be entered against Sir Lamorak. He looks a vulnerable favourite to me.

Charlie Appleby will throw Wirko into the mix. Having won on the all-weather at Kempton on his final juvenile outing, Wirko scored in the Blue Ribband Trial at Epsom on his reappearance, and another strong showing here will see connections supplement Wirko for the Derby.

I fancied Youth Spirit to run well in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket on his reappearance. Oisin Murphy's mount, despite travelling into the race well, looked very one-paced over the final two furlongs. Sure he's entitled to come on for that reappearance, but I'm not sure whether this further step up in distance will truly suit.

Law Of The Sea has made the most of Benoit De La Sayette's seven-pound claimer when winning two novice races this season. This is a big step up in class for Frankie Dettori's mount, and John Gosden is still searching for his first winner of the Vase.

Fancy Man laboured under a three-pound penalty on his reappearance in the Feilden, and was allowed to coast home when Sean Levey gave up two furlongs from home. His breeding doesn't suggest this step up in distance will come naturally, and fast ground could be an issue too.

Sir Lamorak will be joined by Sandhurst and San Martino. San Martino is nothing more than a pacemaker, but Sandhurst - who beat 108-rated Flying Visit on heavy ground last season, and clearly didn't appreciate faster going in the Craven - could mount a challenge on more favourable ground conditions.

2021 Chester Vase Tips

Wirko2021 Chester Vase TipsGET 7/2 HERE
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An each-way punt on Sandhurst is an appealing prospect. However, I'd rather side with Wirko, who looked a strong stayer in the making when scoring on his reappearance at Epsom.

William Buick's mount was under strong pressure entering the home straight that day, and faded back to fourth at the three pole. Despite looking beaten, Wirko just kept on finding on the run to the line, and got up under the shadow of the post to beat Technique by a neck. 

That was an excellent performance when you consider Appleby's colt was giving five pounds to a talented filly who's entered in the Oaks. While Kingman's progeny are usually more comfortable over a mile, Wirko's dam is by a strong stayer in Mount Nelson, and won Listed races in Germany over 11 and 14 furlongs. 

San Martino is perfectly placed to go forward from stall one, given a clean break. Wirko will come out of two, meaning he could get a lovely tow into the race from the Ballydoyle pacesetter on the rail, and he should have enough class to put the race to bed.


After handling the track well at Epsom, I'm confident Wirko will prove himself worthy of supplementary entry into the Derby with another victory at Chester.
2021 Chester Vase Tips: Wirko Straight Win @350.00 at BetMGM - 15 Units

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