CHESTER is promoting the benefits of running three-year-olds in the two top-notch classic trails at the May Meeting - the MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase and the Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes - to trainers and owners.
Bobby McAlpine, Chester's chairman, has written and spoken to trainers about the excellent qualities of both the 12-furlong MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase, which has £65,000 in prize money, and the 10-furlong Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes worth £70,000.
The MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase, which moves to the second day of the May meeting, Thursday, May 6, is one of the most significant trials for the Derby and the St Leger.
In addition to its status as a classic trial, the prestigious and historic race has proved a very good guide to future success in a whole host of other high-class races.
Since 1980, Derby winners Henbit (1980), Shergar (1981) and Quest For Fame (1990) and St Leger victors Light Cavalry (1980), Toulon (1991), Moon-ax (1994) and Millenary (2000) have all raced in the Chester Vase.
The Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes provided last year's Derby winner, Kris Kin, who was the decisive scorer of the Chester trial.
Oath produced a dazzling display at Chester to defeat Little Rock by five lengths in the 1999 Dee Stakes and then captured the Derby.
The Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes, which takes place on the final day of the 2004 May Meeting, Friday, May 7, has also seen horses of the calibre of multiple Group One winner Grandera, Arc victor Saumarez, Pentire and Derby seconds Blue Stag and Blues Traveller take part since 1990.
Mr McAlpine commented: 'Chester is a fine place at which to run promising three-year-olds. The ground is always in excellent condition for the May meeting, our first racing of the year, and Chester's turns test the versatility of horses before their classic attempts.
'The MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase and the Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes have new sponsors this year, and we are going forward on all fronts to encourage runners in both.