Japan bids to get career back on track at Chester Festival
The meeting gets underway at 1.45pm and concludes at 4.45pm. We have previewed the pick of the action.
The feature race of the day is the £80,000 G3 Ormonde Stakes (3.15pm). The contest boasts an illustrious roll of honour and has been won by the likes of St Nicholas Abbey (2011) and Brown Panther (2014) in recent years.
This year’s contest centres on Japan, a brilliant three-year-old who won the Juddmonte International, before losing his way last term. This is his first run outside of G1 company since successful at Royal Ascot in 2019 and the 11/8 favourite should take the world of beating.
His main rival is Trueshan (5/2) for Alan King and Hollie Doyle. He capped a wonderful 2020 with victory in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day and looks capable of further improvement this term.
Morando (5/1) has finished first and second in the last two renewals of the Ormonde and crucially goes well fresh. He will appreciate some cut in the ground, but this demands more. Sonnyboyliston (11/1) progressed with every run last year and is respected based on his comeback third, whilst Withhold (11/1) is another to note given his pedigree in these staying events.
The eight runners are completed by the consistent Kipps (20/1), Sextant (20/1) and Euchen Glen (33/1).
The other highlight at Chester is the £60,000 Listed Dee Stakes at 2.15pm. The last horse to complete the Dee-Derby double was Kris Kin in 2003. Maximal (10/3), like Kris Kin, is trained by Sir Michael Stoute and the three-year-old remains an exciting prospect despite being beaten on his return at Newbury. Related to the mighty Frankel, he looks the type who will continue to improve with racing.
Foxes Tales (7/1) cost 400,000gns and returned to action with a narrow success at Newbury last month. He looks capable of further improvement and is respected along with Yibir, the 13/8 favourite who was third in the Classic Trial at Sandown on his reappearance.
Aidan O’Brien has won eight renewals of the Listed event, including the last three and runs Ontario (11/4) who should have come on for his third at Newmarket in Listed company last term. He looks sure to be suited by this step up in trip and is considered along with Earlswood (14/1), a smooth winner on his first start for Johnny Murtagh this season.
The seven runners are completed by El Drama (14/1) who has finished third in two starts on the All-Weather this term and Luther Cee (66/1) who scored in France last term, but needs to step up considerably to figure here.
4.45pm Set Point
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