Orchestra (right) beats Romsdal by a nose in the Group 3 Chester VasePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Orchestra hits the right note in Chester Vase
Report: Chester, Thursday
MBNA Chester Vase (Group 3) 1m4½f, 3yo colts and geldings
ORCHESTRA gave Aidan O'Brien a fifth win in the Chester Vase - but only just. After cruising to the lead, Ryan Moore's mount hung drastically to the right, allowing Romsdal and William Buick to force a photo-finish.
Orchestra was given the verdict and with it a general quote of 25-1 for the Investec Derby, although Betfred go 33-1 (from 40) about him emulating last year's winner Ruler Of The World and the mighty Shergar by landing both the Vase and Derby.
It appeared his price was set for a drastic overhaul when the leaders fanned wide into the straight, allowing a full-of-running Orcherstra a lovely split up the inner.
Greatfully accepting their invitation, Orchestra slipped into a clear advantage, looking likely to dismantle his rivals and lay claim to the Derby crown.
However, the son of Galileo, making his seasonal reappearance, drifted alarmingly to his right, offering his rivals a whiff of victory.
Buick and Romsdal grasped their chance, closing on the favourite throughout the final furlong before lunging into a photo-finish.
"It was his first run of the year and that was only his third start so hopefully there’s improvement in him, said winning rider Ryan Moore. "He’s well balanced and he has the makings of a nice horse."
Kevin Buckley, representing the winning owners, added: "We're very pleased with that. Ryan said he got a nice feel. He was a bit keen in the early stages but then he settled nicely and got into a good rhythm."
The performance of the runner-up, who would need to be supplemented for the Derby, was greeted with a 16-1 quote for the big one with Paddy Power, who go the same price about the winner. The pair finished well clear of the remainder.