Conditions To Suit For Local Dynasty In the Dee

Wide-margin winners trended on a rain-softened opening to Chester’s May Festival and, with testing conditions set for day two at the Roodeye, it will be as you were turning to Thursday’s Listed Boodles Dee S., another G1 Derby trial, and the Tote-sponsored G3 Ormonde S. for the older stayers.

Godolphin’s ‘TDN Rising StarLocal Dynasty (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) will relish the muddy track, according to Charlie Appleby, and returns off a soft-ground breakthrough score in October’s Listed Pontefract Castle when last seen.

“He has done well over the winter and we know that he will handle the ground following his wins at Sandown and Pontefract,” the trainer said. “Stepping up in trip looks as though it should suit and this seems a decent starting point for his campaign.”

O’Brien Dynasty To Retain Sovereignty?

Aidan O’Brien has struck for seven of the last 10 editions and relies on Dundalk maiden winner San Antonio (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in his quest for an overall 10th triumph, which would be one shy of Barry Hills’ record 11.

“He’s in good form and won his maiden nicely in Dundalk,” the trainer commented. “I don’t know if he’s run in that ground before, so we’re not sure about that, but he’s in good form.”

Son Donnacha also has representation and sends forth G2 Golden Fleece S. third Alder (Ire) (Australia {GB}), who will line up off a comeback win at Cork last month.

“He’s a very nice horse and we’ve always thought a lot of him,” said the junior O’Brien. “He was always going to make a better 3-year-old and the race is timed nicely for him. It’s three weeks from his last run and then about three weeks to the Derby, so it has worked out well and we will learn a bit more about him.”

Possible Delays For Passenger’s Return

It’s been a long 20 years since the Dee hosted a subsequent Blue Riband hero, Kris Kin (Kris S.) doing the double for Sir Michael Stoute, but the veteran maestro’s impressive Wood Ditton winner Passenger (Ulysses {Ire}) is by no means a certain starter in this year’s renewal.

“Sir Michael is going to review the ground in the morning and should it be deemed too soft, Passenger may not run,” revealed Niarchos Family’s racing manager Alan Cooper. “He’s a horse that needs good ground, so it wouldn’t make sense for his second start to run the horse on an unsuitable surface.”

Ormonde Duel In Store

Later on the card, the eight-runner G3 Bet £5 Get £20 Ormonde S. appears to be a straight-up duel between 2022 hero Hamish (GB) (Motivator {GB}) and Ballydoyle’s G1 Derby fifth and G2 King Edward VII victor Changingoftheguard (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who annexed last year’s G3 Chester Vase at this meeting.

“He carries a penalty and is very well, but could have done with a better draw,” said trainer William Haggas of the former. “He’s ready to go, he enjoys a bit of cut in the ground and I believe it is going to be quite soft. He should enjoy it and we will try to take advantage of the [soft] ground while we have it.”

Ryan Moore is hopeful Changingoftheguard, who comes back off a 328-day break, is up to the task on seasonal return.

“He was very impressive in testing ground when winning the Chester Vase here last season and followed up with a good fifth in the Derby,” the rider said. “We never saw him after [the King Edward VII at] Royal Ascot as he picked up an injury, but we are obviously very happy with him now or else we wouldn’t be here. Hopefully, he can get a Group 1 on his CV this season. It’s a deep and tough race for a Group 3, but this is a good starting point for him.”

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