With the Grand National, the Cheltenham Festival and indeed the National Hunt season well behind us, the Chester Vase takes centre stage on the Wednesday of this historic May meeting. Here we take a look at the history of the race, provide our betting tips and highlight a selection of the best odds and offers available.
First run way back in 1907 and now held on the second day of Chester’s three day meeting, this Group 3, 1m4f 66 yards contest offers upwards of £70,000 in total prize money.
Chester Vase 2019 Betting Preview and Tips
The flat racing season always continues at a fast pace with little time to analyse results. So, after the first two Classics of the year it’s time for preparations for the next two to begin in earnest. The Chester Vase always plays an important role in the build up to the Derby as one of the key warm up races and this Group 3, 1 mile 4½ furlong contest is set to include several Derby hopes once again on Wednesday.
Could Important Trend be Broken Again?
Given that Young Rascal was sent off at 100/30 for the 2018 Chester Vase it may be a stretch to say that he was a surprise winner. However, his win snapped a run of five straight winning favourites for the race and we may be in line for the same 12 months on.
King Ottokar is the favourite for the 2019 Chester Vase at a general price of 10/3. Charlie Fellowes’ colt made a relatively late debut as a two-year-old but won first time out before finding the quality in the Vertem Futurity Trophy too much for him. A winning return to action over 1 mile 2 furlongs at Newbury has proven enough for punters to back him into favouritism but that has only improved the value available on the second favourite, Technician.
Dettori to Make the Difference for Technician
Technician was another who had to wait until the last knockings of his juvenile season to get a run and was only mildly impressive when finishing third at Nottingham. It wasn’t until this season where he returned with an easy win at Leicester that he appeared on the radar of many racing fans.
Martyn Meade and Technician’s owners are confident enough about his chances to enter him in the Derby and they’ll be more than happy to write off his second place to Bangkok last time out at Sandown as little more than bad luck. Technician certainly ran on very well having been crowded out in running and would surely have won for a bit more luck.
That bit of luck may have arrived in the shape of a diminutive Italian with Frankie Dettori booked for the ride. The experienced jockey will ensure Technician is well placed for the clsoing stages where he can display his powerful turn of pace to score at 4/1 with bet365.
Technician looks the best value for a win bet in the Chester Vase but many punters will be looking for a tempting option from lower down the betting who could just provide a big payout from a surprise win. Arthur Kitt may be that horse at 10/1 with Paddy Power.
Tom Dascombe’s charge ran very well in the earlier stages of his juvenile campaign and remained one to watch despite tailing off. His odds are likely inflated because of a poor showing last time out but that can be explained by a horrible start. He really does have a genuine chance of making a marked improvement at Chester even if an each way bet is the safest play.
- 2018 – Young Rascal – jockey James Doyle, trainer William Haggas
- 2017 – Venice Beach – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2016 – US Army Ranger – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2015 – Hans Holbein – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2014 – Orchestra – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2013 – Ruler Of The World – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2012 – Mickdaam – jockey Tony Hamilton, trainer Richard Fahey
- 2011 – Treasure Beach – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2010 – Ted Spread – jockey Daryll Holland, trainer Mark Tompkins
- 2009 – Golden Sword – jockey Colm O’Donoghue, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2008 – Doctor Fremantle – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Sir Michael Stoute
- 2007 – Soldier Of Fortune – jockey Michael Kinane, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2006 – Papal Bull – jockey Kieren Fallon, trainer Sir Michael Stoute
Chester Vase History
Since its inaugural running back in 1907, both the conditions of this contest and the distance over which it is run have altered slightly. The race was initially open to three and four year olds and at times run over a distance in excess of 1m5f. The race settled at around 1m4f in 1959, with the current distance of 1m4f 66 yards being in place since 1970. Having initially been open to both three and four year olds, 1959 also marks the year in which the Chester Vase first became a three year old only affair. The race has however always been restricted to colts and geldings, with the Cheshire Oaks on the opening day being the equivalent event for the fillies.
Being a Group class, 1m4f event for the Classic generation, this race has developed into a notable trial for the Epsom Derby over the years. Chester may not possess the undulations of Epsom but its almost constantly turning track does provide a useful test of a runner’s balance, an essential quality for Derby success.
A number of horses have added to a victory here by landing the Epsom showpiece, with Papyrus being the first in 1923. Windsor Lad and Henbit are others to achieve this feat, whilst Alcide was well fancied to do so, only to reportedly have his rib deliberately broken by an unscrupulous rival prior to the 1958 Derby.
The most famous winner of this race is undoubtedly the ill-fated Shergar. Sir Michael Stoute’s star didn’t just win the Derby after taking this, he routed the field by a record distance of 10 lengths. The Aga Khan’s colt went on to record further successes in the Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, before being kidnapped by masked gunmen, never to be found.
As of 2018 we have a clear leading jockey for the race. Though Tommy Weston took this five times between 1925 and 1946, his most notable success coming aboard the subsequent Derby winner Hyperion in 1933, he’s not the top dog. Having recorded his first win aboard Doctor Fremantle in 2008, a remarkable run has seen Ryan Moore reach seven wins prior to the 2018 renewal. Most significant of these was Derby winner Ruler Of The World in 2013.
The man to have provided Moore with six of his seven victories is the master of Ballydoyle, Aidan O’Brien. The trainer’s eighth win in 2017 put him ahead as the leading trainer, two ahead of Alec Taylor, Jr. and Jack Jarvis.
Be sure to have a look at our Chester Cup tips and offers too!