Ian Ogg runs the rule over Thursday's Chester Vase, and gives you a horse-by-horse guide to the big race.
Well beaten-off on his seasonal reappearance in the Ballysax, but wasn't given a hard time when defeat was obvious and looked as if he was finding the ground too lively. His best efforts, including when third to Power in the National Stakes and winning the Beresford Stakes, came on testing ground which he looks set to get here. Fitter for his reappearance, and likely to appreciate the longer trip, he looks a major player.
Call To Battle
Finished ahead of David Livingston last time, although he did have more of a race in the closing stages. Plenty of stamina on his dam's side, so fair to assume that he'll appreciate the longer trip today, although he does look a resolute galloper so may not be totally at home around these turns. Ground fine, in fact the wetter the better, and has plenty of ticks in the right boxes.
Always highly regarded, although yet to produce a performance to blow your socks off. Best effort arguably his fourth in the UAE Derby (in the care of Mike De Kock) and seemed to handle soft ground when subsequently second to Rougemont at Newmarket. Easy to pick holes in that form, and whilst jockey thinks he'll come on a lot for it, the feeling is that he'll need to improve for this longer trip. Stayers in the family, especially on the dam's side, so could easily do so.
Made a promising debut behind the more experienced Zaina and then seemed to idle in front when scraping home at Newbury on softer ground the following month. Lovely pedigree, with his dam being from the family of Darshaan, however has only been on the racecourse for a couple of months, and whilst very promising, one might suspect that the more battle-hardened rivals could handle this unique track/atmosphere just that little bit better.
Travelled powerfully but in front for too long on his reappearance, where it was hard not to be impressed with his attitude to get back up when headed inside the distance. Dam Modesta, whilst talented herself, comes from an even better family and there's every reason to assume that this chap will improve again now stepped up further in trip. Very different track to contend with today, but a fascinating prospect.
Aidan O'Brien has made this race his own over recent years, landing three of the last five renewals. However it's only marginally that we side with his DAVID LIVINGSTON, as this year's opposition looks strong. The Galileo colt seems at his best on soft ground and should come on plenty for his reappearance at Leopardstown where he wasn't given a hard time once beaten. Call To Battle, who was three lengths ahead of him, is another who should like the ground and the longer trip, and looks more of a threat than Mickdaam. The lightly-raced pair of Minimise Risk and Model Pupil are fascinating, but this track will be a completely different experience and they're probably two to take on. Having said that, the latter, trained by Charles Hills, will probably have been targeted at this meeting for a while given the success that Hills' father Barry had in Cheshire.