Today on Sky Sports Racing: Chester May Festival day two features returning champs Changingoftheguard and Hamish | Racing News

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The Boodles May Festival at Chester rolls onto day two featuring the battle of returning champions in the Ormonde, plus Classic contenders on show in the Dee Stakes, all live on Sky Sports Racing.

3.15 Chester – Changingoftheguard and Hamish clash in Group Three feature

Much is often made about the importance of ‘Chester specialists’ in handling the tracks uniquely tight turns and the feature on day two of the Boodles May Festival includes two stars with proven success from last year’s meeting.

Defending champion Hamish heads eight runners in the Group Three Bet 5 Get 20 Ormonde Stakes (3.15) on his first start of the year.

William Haggas’ seven-year-old has been a grand servant for the yard winning six of his 14 starts and is one of two penalised under Tom Marquand.

The other to concede weight is Ralph Beckett’s Max Vega. This tough six-year-old narrowly defeated Hamish when landing the St Simon Stakes at Newbury and Rob Hornby takes over in the plate.

Aidan O’Brien’s Changingoftheguard, winner of the Chester Vase last year, has not been seen since taking the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and makes his four-year-old reappearance under Ryan Moore.

Others to note include John and Thady Gosden’s Israr, along with Old Harrovian for the Andrew Balding yard.

Tom Marquand and Hamish quicken up down the outside to take the Ormonde Stakes
Tom Marquand and Hamish quicken up down the outside to take the Ormonde Stakes last year

2.40 Chester – Classic contenders on trial in the Dee

Eight also head to post for a cracking renewal of the Boodles Dee Stakes (2.40), where Derby dreams could begin or be extinguished.

Sir Michael Stoute has won the race with the likes of Kris Kin in the past and looks to have another exciting colt on his hands with Passenger. A son of Ulysses, he was mightily impressive when winning on debut at Newmarket last month and steps up in trip and class under Richard Kingscote.

O’Brien has won this contest nine times and relies on Dundalk maiden winner San Antonio, while O’Brien’s son Donnacha will be hoping Alder can make the step up having won two of his four starts, including at Cork on reappearance in April.

Charlie Appleby’s Local Dynasty was successful on three of his four starts as a juvenile, including in the Listed Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract in October.

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Michael Owen says the tote Chester Cup is a race high on his team’s agenda at the May Festival, live on Sky Sports Racing.

2.05 Chester – Theoryofeverything and Vetiver meet in top handicap

Chester’s meeting also features a number of fascinating and highly-competitive handicaps, including a classy renewal of the Deepbridge Capital Handicap (2.05).

The Gosdens’ Theoryofeverything landed a Doncaster novice on debut before running an excellent third in the Greenham at Newbury and drops in grade now off a mark of 94 with James Doyle taking the ride.

Balding’s Twilight Son filly Vetiver makes her handicap debut and bids to land a hat-trick having won a couple of novice events at Beverley.

Surely Not looked a well-handicapped horse when trouncing a quality field at Newmarket last month and must defy a 7lb rise under William Buick.

Thursday racecards | Latest Sky Bet odds

Watch every race from the Boodles May Festival at Chester, plus action from Southwell, all live on Sky Sports Racing on Thursday, May 11.

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