ALL eyes remain on Chester Racecourse as top-quality racing continues this afternoon with the second day of the May Festival where the centrepiece is the Virgin Money Chester Vase.
Masterofthehorse, a Ballydoyle stable entry, was third behind the 2000 Guineas winner Sea The Stars on his seasonal reappearance when beaten just over half a length and appears to have Golden Sword, a stable companion, as his pacemaker.
This form looks solid and the trip will suit this lightly raced individual.
The Group 3 recognised Derby trial is no one-horse race as Debussy was supplemented for the premier colts classic following a good win at Epsom over this trip last month.
Henry Cecil is represented by Sight Unseen who lived up to his name with a seven-length victory on his debut at Newbury last month, in a race that has a reputation for throwing up quality horses.
Doctor Fremantle returns to the scene of his 2008 Chester Vase triumph to participate in the Extrabet.com Huxley Stakes.
Expresso Star, already successful this season looks the danger but the course winner should have the edge on his first outing of 2009.
The meeting kicks off with the Boodles Diamond Velocity Handicap. While Fanjura is the top-rated horse in the field having finished a close-up fifth at Newbury last month, punters should never overlook Mark Brisbourne horses at Chester.
The Shropshire based trainer is represented by course specialist Cheshire Prince. Local trainer Lisa Williamson has entered Bee Sting, a course and distance winner back in June 2007 on soft ground.
Boodles Diamonds also sponsor the Eternity Handicap. Resort, ridden by Ryan Moore is drawn on the wide outside of the field. This may allow Tartan Gunna to record a double, having justified favouritism to score by five lengths at Beverley in April.
Spurstow-based Rob Lloyd Racing, now headed by trainer Pat Morris, has one of the fancied runners in the Moscow Eight EBF Maiden Stakes.
The filly was not disgraced when finishing one and a quarter lengths back in fourth at Ripon two weeks ago. She will be assisted by jockey Jamie Spencer.
Swilly Ferry looks the danger having been given a little time to develop since the Brocklesby Stakes on the first day of the turf flat season at Doncaster in March.
Tomorrow is City Day, featuring the £70,000 Addleshaw Goddard Dee Stakes run over one mile two furlongs. The race has attracted a quality entry, among them a John Gosden-trained horse, Big Bond, who was a winner on his seasonal reappearance at Lingfield before experiencing a head defeat at Sandown behind 25-1 outsider Above Average – a Chester Vase entrant.
The powerful Ballydoyle stable has entered Black Bear Island, beaten in France on his first outing this year and Drumbeat who finished second to another entry, Redwood at the Newmarket Craven meeting last month. All are entitled to have benefited from the previous outings and Redwood may just have the edge.
Older horses contest the betchronicle Ormonde Stakes. Tastahil, trained by Barry Hills, is race fit from a success at Doncaster in March and was third at Newbury behind Enroller in the John Porter Stakes.
Frozen Fire is the high class benchmark horse having won the 2008 Irish Derby following a close up second behind Tartan Bearer in the Dante Stakes at York and is selected win on his seasonal reappearance.
Sprint specialist David Nicholls is represented by Parisian Pyramid in the Hawker Beechcroft Handicap run over five furlongs.
Given a favourable low draw the four-year-old should improve on his third place at Ripon last month when carrying top weight.
In the Charles Rodgers Cheshire Regiment Maiden Fillies Stakes, Balaaghe should lose her maiden tag based on her debut outing when occupying second slot at Newmarket last month, after being slow away.