The draw and potential track bias was the hot topic of debate after Saturday’s 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and that theme is likely to continue during this week’s May Festival at Chester.
On a track that is tighter than Manchester City’s defence, a high draw is a major disadvantage in large fields – even in middle-distance races. Horses who race close to the pace are often favoured in the finish, given the likelihood for trouble in behind. and that could apply.
The feature race on day one is the Chester Vase at 3.35pm, a Derby trial that Aidan O’Brien has won seven times in the last 10 years, including with subsequent Epsom winner Ruler of The World in 2013.
Family honour can be upheld in this year’s renewal, too, with Norway – a full-brother to Ruler of The World – appealing as the one to beat in the 1m 4f Group 3 contest.
Ryan Moore has chosen to ride on him ahead of his two Ballydoyle stablemates Sir Dragonet and Gentile Bellini.
Norway showed useful form in five starts as a two-year-old, including when winning the Listed Zetland Stakes at Newmarket.
It would be a surprise if he didn’t have even more to offer this term, especially as he’s now stepping up to 1m 4f in first-time cheek-pieces.