Treasure Beach laid the foundations of his two Derby runs this season on the historic turf of the Roodee in May when proving he had the balance to negotiate the tight bends that are a trademark of Chester to land the MBNA Chester Vase. Winning connections referred to Chester as being: “a fabulous learning curve; it’s a really good education for horses.”
The Galileo colt was only beaten a head in the Investec Derby at Epsom on his next outing before showing further improvement to land the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby atthe Curragh earlier this month. In galloping past his rivals Treasure Beach endorsed the Group 3 Chester Vase as a valuable early-season classic trial for three-year-old colts.
Nathaniel was only a head behind Treasure Beach at Chester and franked this early season form at the Royal Ascot meeting when galloping away with the King Edward VII Stakes by five lengths.
Chester was also the venue for St Nicholas Abbey to demonstrate his return to race fitness when the colt powered away to a nine-length success in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes. This victory was the stepping stone for the Montjeu colt to land the Coronation Cup at Epsom next time out.
Fillies of classic calibre also contested the Weatherbys Bank Cheshire Oaks on the first day of the Chester May meeting. Jockey Ryan Moore referred to the winner, Wonder of Wonders as being a very well balanced filly. She proved this to be correct when putting in a game performance to finish second to Dancing Rain in the Oaks at Epsom.
Chester attracted a crowd of 36,582 on Saturday 9 July when the racing calendar offered several alternative venues for the racegoer. Chief Executive Richard Thomas said: “Every enclosure was sold out in advance of our fixture on Saturday 9 July, on one of the busiest days of the season. Our attendance has been high at Chester during the first half of 2011.”
The next meeting at Chester Racecourse, Family Fun Day, is one of the best-attended fixtures on the annual racing calendar and takes place on Sunday 31 July. Advice from Chester Racecourse is to arrive early!