Chester May Festival Day 1 | A Roodee Storm

Sandown, Chester, and York Tips

The Flat season is now well into gear following Punchestown and the Guineas last weekend, and the first day of the Chester May Festival is a good way to mark this changing of the guard.

After a good amount of time spent talking about three-mile chasers (which is my passion) through the winter, my inner Flat brain is eager to see some rapid sprinters and Classic contenders.

Chester is a tough place to bet due to the nature of the course, so the volume of fancies through this week won’t match that of the Punchestown Festival from last week.

Speaking of the final big jumps meeting of the year, this column struggled to kick into gear over the first few days, but a helping hand from Minella Crooner on the final day pushed last week’s P&L to 18.5pts in profit. The overall P&L is slightly lower at 10pts.

Considering the recent form over the last few months, a positive number in the P&L column is a welcome sight, so let’s not give it all back.


1:30 Chester – Al Shabab Storm @ 7/1 with William Hill (4 places) – 1pt EW

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Starting with the opener, the Andrew Balding team have hit the ground running this Flat season (23% strike rate over the last two weeks) and that form can continue with Al Shabab Storm.

The one negative against his name is stall 10, but his form is well above a few in here and he can make use of that if he gets a nice early position under Oisin Murphy.

The three-year-old by Advertise debuted at Leicester in September 2023, but his best run of the month came 17 days later on much quicker ground at Newmarket when he ran into Accumulate.

He hung left that day in the closing stages which allowed Accumulate to win, though the form of that race has worked out well as the winner won at Lingfield on his next start and the third, Native Warrior, ran into the subsequent 2000 Guineas winner Notable Speech at Kempton in April 2024.

After that, he ran a good race on heavy ground at Doncaster when fourth behind Ballymount Boy, a good yardstick thanks to his form with Vandeek.

Back to six furlongs is a positive, though his starting gate is the only worry.


3:40 Chester – Cadogan Place @ 15/2 with William Hill – 1pt EW

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This year’s Chester Vase is an interesting puzzle to decipher, but the 15/2 price of Cadogan Place is one of great interest.

The Frankel two-year-old started his career with a victory over Hidden Law at Southwell in late March, and although he got the first run over Godolphin’s Dubawi colt, the ease at which Oisin Murphy travelled through the race was eye-catching.

On paper, that form looks strong as the runner-up bolted up at Newbury on his next start and is the 5/2 second-favourite in this field.

After all, that was his first run and it was on the all-weather, so he is entitled to come on for it now on the turf.

He was well-backed on the day, which is an interesting fact, and he is a full brother to Quadrilateral, the 2017 Group 1 Fillies’ Mile winner who was also third to Love in the 2020 1000 Guineas.

Considering all of this, I’m happy to chance him at 15/2.

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