Jason Weaver: Circus can take it to the Max’ at Chester

Ballydoyle cracked the Chester Vase on Wednesday and the Weaver Shark is expecting Circus Maximus to deliver in the Dee Stakes (14.25)...


The Ballydoyle bandwagon rolls on to the Dee Stakes at Chester on Thursday (14.25) where the stable has saddled five of the last seven winners of the Epsom Derby trial.

Mohawk is making his seasonal debut and will be ridden by Aidan O’Brien’s son, Donnacha, and he’s actually top rated in the race off a mark of 112, having won the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket over 1m last season.

Andrew Balding’s Fox Chairman is an intriguing runner. The 450,000 guineas purchase could be open to any amount of improvement, having won convincingly on his racecourse debut less than a month ago in a Newbury maiden over a mile. He acted on good to soft ground that day and the rain that has fallen won’t hinder his chances. I just wonder whether he’ll have enough experience for a couple of battle-hardened runners who are chasing an Epsom Derby date on June 1?

For me though, it’s all about Circus Maximus.

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He has a fantastic pedigree and looked very good in only a few runs on the racecourse last year, most notably when finishing a length fourth to stablemate Magna Grecia in the Futurity Stakes at Doncaster on good to soft ground.

That Magna Grecia then bolted up in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last weekend should speak volumes.

He may be second best to stablemate Mohawk on official ratings – but Circus Maximus can come out on top on Thursday.

*Prices are correct at time of publication

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