One horse, one race, one trainer and one jockey to follow on Wednesday
Roger Varian was the last trainer not called Aidan O'Brien or John Gosden to win the Cheshire Oaks (2.15), when he triumphed with Anipa in 2014, and he possesses a strong candidate this year in the unbeaten Zeyaadah.
The Shadwell Estate-owned filly showcased admirable versatility as a two-year-old, winning on the all-weather at Chelmsford, good ground at Beverley and on heavy in the Listed Montrose Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket.
Enable waltzed to success here in 2017 on her way to Classic glory, and victory would put Zeyaadah among the leading candidates for the Cazoo Oaks.
Ruler Of The World used the Chester Vase (3.15) as a springboard to Epsom glory in 2013, and several Cazoo Derby hopefuls are aiming to showcase their Classic credentials in the 1m4½f Group 3.
Aidan O’Brien has won six of the last seven (and nine of the last 13) runnings of the race, and returns to the Roodee with Sandhurst, an impressive maiden winner at Gowran Park as a juvenile.
Godolphin pair Law Of The Sea and Wirko, winner of the Listed Blue Riband Trial, have both made encouraging starts to their campaigns and provide the main opposition in what should be a cracking six-runner affair.
Away from the day’s feature races, Cheshire-based trainer Tom Dascombe will be eager to strike at his local track and has several good chances across the afternoon.
He saddles comfortable Southwell winner Devious Angel in the Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes (1.45), while sprinters Harmony Lil and Cuban Breeze have leading claims in the 5f handicap (2.45), which Dascombe won with Roodee and Kachy back-to-back in 2015 and 2016.
Richard Kingscote takes the ride on course winner Paws For Thought in the 6f handicap (3.45), before the trainer concludes the day with Solent Gateway and Rattling Rosie in the 1m2½f maiden (4.15) and Lincoln Park in the final race (4.45).
Franny Norton is the leading jockey around Chester and the 50-year-old has an interesting book of rides on the opening day of the Boodles May festival.
Norton, who won the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes on Sir Ron Priestley last weekend, is an expert around the Roodee and a man in form, too, with 11 winners last month at a 24 per cent strike-rate.
Dubai Fountain sets the standard in the Cheshire Oaks (2.15) on her fourth in the Fillies' Mile, and is a fine first ride of the meeting for Norton, while Army Of India appeared to have trained on when posting a career-best RPR on his return at Doncaster and runs in the 5f handicap for three-year-olds (2.45).
Norton is four-time course winner Sir Maximilian's 30th different rider on his 74th start (4.45), with the 12-year-old rated 5lb lower than his last win at the track in September.
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