Simon Holt looks ahead to Thursday's feature action from Chester, with Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien backed to be among the winners again.
Recommended bets: Chester, Thursday
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The result of Wednesday's Chester Vase gives a major steer towards the chances of My Lord And Master in the Homeserve Dee Stakes on Day Two at the Roodee.
William Haggas' colt slammed his stable-companion Young Master, a cosy winner from Dee Ex Bee in the Vase, by six lengths in a maiden at Nottingham last November and finished in front of Dee Ex Bee when narrowly held by Crossed Baton in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom on his reappearance last month.
Clearly, that form is beginning to look really solid but it seems likely that Young Master and Dee Ex Bee (who both appeared to relish a step up to a mile-and-a-half) have improved on their previous efforts and, while there is no reason why My Lord And Master won't go forward as well, he is now likely to start at cramped odds.
If one is seeking an alternative, Aidan O'Brien, who has won four of the last six runnings of this feature, is not a bad supplier and ROSTROPOVICH, the mount of Ryan Moore, is easily preferred over his penalised stable companion Kenya.
Indeed, the latter under Donnacha O'Brien may well be tasked with making this a stiff test as Rostropovich, a son of Frankel, looked to be crying out for longer distances even as a two-year-old despite winning an admittedly weakish Group Two at The Curragh over seven furlongs before finishing a well held third behind Verbal Dexterity in the Group One National Stakes.
Sent to France for his seasonal reappearance in the Prix de Fontainebleau at Longchamp, Rostropovich couldn't muster enough speed to trouble the very smart pair Wootton and Olmedo but was keeping on at the finish over a mile, should come on for the run and will relish this extra ground.
Godolphin's Rastrelli looks the other leading player. William Buick's mount was beaten some way when fourth behind Kew Gardens and Dee Ex Bee in the Zetland Stakes at Newmarket in October but began the new campaign with a fluent defeat of five rivals at Newbury, and there may be more to come.
Meanwhile, like O'Brien, Barry Hills was renowned for enjoying great success at Chester - he won the Dee Stakes on no less than 11 occasions - and his son Charles, victorious with Spoof on Wednesday, could well strike again with PORTH SWTAN in the Abbey Logistics Handicap.
Although 3lb out of the handicap, the son of Invincible Spirit might be slightly under-estimated by the handicapper on his victory in a Newmarket maiden at the Craven meeting as, although the long-priced second Ambient has been quite well beaten since, third-placed Bacacarat ran well to finish second behind The Navigator at Thirsk with the 81-rated Valdolobo over two lengths further back.
Even off 86, Porth Swtan looks handily weighted on that line of form and a half length second to the now 105-rated Rufus King, in receipt of 18lb at Newmarket last October also suggests he could be really competitive if, as seems likely, he has improved since.
Paul Hanagan's mount is also well drawn in stall four and ran well on the course over a similar distance last August when beaten a head in a novice event.
Posted at 1730 BST on 09/05/18.