4 Chester Betting Pointers To Consider This Week

Chester Racecourse

Guineas weekend is a good reminder that the flat season is back, but if anything suggests that the flat action is hitting full swing, it’s the simply brilliant Chester May Festival.

The Roodee is now officially the oldest racecourse still in operation, with racing in Chester dating back to early 16th century. It still has the same charm as it did all those years ago, and the May meeting regularly attracts the very best in the business.

However, with Chester being so unique, we thought we’d throw you a few pointers to consider this week.

Classic Clues

With the Chester track seemingly always on the left turn, it is highly regarded as acting as an excellent taster for Epsom, which is notorious for needing a perfectly balanced racehorse.

Both tracks enjoy close proximity between the crowds and the action, which is why the top trainers use this meeting as a regular stepping stone for some of their potential superstars.

In terms of dedicated trials, the Cheshire Oaks, Chester Vase and the Dee Stakes are where you’ll want to have your notebook at the ready.

They all feature Classic winners in their roll of honours, although it does often pay dividends to jot down the names of those that finish second or third as well.

The Chester Vase is perhaps the race that has provided the Classic clues more often than most, with the likes of Derby winners Papyrus, Shergar and Ruler of the World winning this on the way to further glory, while Wings of Eagles finished second in the Vase before winning the Derby in 2017.

The AOB Factor

Some of those famous names were trained by the great Irish supremo Aidan O’Brien, who is fresh from a Guineas double at Newmarket after landing the 2000 Guineas with Magna Grecia and the 1000 Guineas with Hermosa.

He is a big fan of the May meeting at Chester and has a particularly good record in the Chester Vase where he has taken five of the last six renewals, all of which have been partnered by jockey Ryan Moore.

The pair team up again with Norway in the Chester Vase this week, a colt who has won just two of his four racecourse starts. He has entries in the Dante and the Derby for the next couple of weeks, and his run here at Chester is likely to decide where he goes next.

He is something of a super sub after Derby hot-shot Japan was rerouted to Leopardstown on Sunday. If that suggests that Norway may have been impressing AOB a little bit more at home, then you’d be a brave punter to back against the trusted O’Brien/Moore partnership in the Chester Vase.

Hanagan The Man Again

With so many good races taking place at Chester this week, it would be very easy to just stick with a jockey like Ryan Moore. After all, he has links with some of the best connections, which surely puts him on the best horses, right?

If only Chester was that easy to predict. He’s certainly had the most winners at the meeting in recent years, but he hasn’t always proved profitable to back. The same goes for the likes Richard Kingscote, William Buick and Jamie Spencer since 2009.

One man who could help you to bag a decent priced winner or two is Paul Hanagan, especially when he teams up with Richard Fahey.

Hanagan has had at least one winner at the meeting for the last eight years and is £8 up to a £1 level stake in that time. As a pairing, they have struck 10 times in the last 10 years, which includes a double together just twelve months ago.

Hanagan also has the experience to deal with whatever Chester may throw at him, and has famously landed winners from as far wide as stalls 10, 11 and 12.

Versatility is key around the Roodee and Hanagan certainly has that in abundance. He looks to have a good chance of getting off the mark in the opener with Show Me Show Me well fancied to build on his Doncaster victory in the Lily Agnes.

The Draw

No piece on Chester could be complete without a mention for the draw.

It’s one of the hot topics of the week when it comes to the May meeting, and you can be sure to hear it mentioned plenty of times by the good folks on ITV Racing and Sky Sports Racing over the next few days.

As a general rule, a low draw tends to have an advantage. Especially in the sprints, but even in the middle-distance races, especially those with large fields. With the track always turning, trying to come around the outside is a particularly challenging task.

Specifically for the May meeting in recent years, horses draw in stalls 2 and 3 have been the ones to follow in 5f-5.5f races, with a strike rate of 30% and 20% respectively.

Of the other races, stall 4 has regularly come up trumps in races between 1m4f and 2m2f, with that currently holding a 21% strike rate.

Something, which is well worth bearing in mind when you’re reading through the various Chester betting tips this week.

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