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Five Series pointers from Chester’s Boodles May Festival

11 May 2018

There have been plenty of QIPCO British Champions Series clues over the past three days.

Haggas, left, has a Derby contender on his hands in Young Rascal. Picture:

There have been plenty of QIPCO British Champions Series clues over the past three days. Here’s five things we learnt.

Young Rascal enters Derby reckoning:

Calling any horse Young Rascal is tempting fate but the William Haggas-trained colt again looked an honest and smart performer when taking the MBNA Chester Vase.

There looked some depth to the race and the manner in which Young Rascal quickened to beat Dee Ex Bee by half a length – with three Aidan O’Brien runners among the also-rans – was impressive.

Young Rascal, who had previously lost his maiden tag in good style at Newbury, is a general 12-1 for the Investec Derby and, owned by the race sponsor, that is where he will be heading.

Aidan O’Brien strengthens Epsom hand:

Aidan O’Brien ran six in the Investec Derby last year and it will be interesting to see who he runs at Epsom next month in addition to Saxon Warrior, hot favourite for the premier Classic after his QIPCO 2000 Guineas triumph.

Rostropovich would certainly not be out of place in the big one after giving O’Brien a seventh success in the Homeserve Dee Stakes.

The Frankel colt, a Group 2 winner last year, relished stepping up to a mile and a quarter and won by almost four lengths from My Lord And Master. There is substance to the form with runner-up having previously been touched off in the Derby Trial at Epsom with Dee Ex Bee back in third.

Big odds about Magic Wand winning Investec Oaks vanish:

Enable won the Cheshire Oaks last year before going on to win five Group One races – including three in the QIPCO British Champions Series.

It seems fanciful to think that Magic Wand will emulate her after her victory in Wednesday’s running, but she won by in convincing style by three and a half lengths from her stablemate, Forever Together, after Ryan Moore dictated a steady pace.

The daughter of Galileo was cut to between 10-1 and 16-1 for the Investec Oaks on June 1. Forever Together kept on well after not enjoying the best of runs and is a general 16-1 for the Epsom Classic.

Idaho could be Cup cracker:

Idaho made the most of a drop in grade to win the Group 3 Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes in ready fashion by three and a half lengths from the cosistet Danehill Kodiac.

Aidan O’Brien’s five-year-old, brother of the now retired Highland Reel, had previously been beaten in six successive Group 1 contests but this victory will have boosted any dented confidence.

O’Brien initially mentioned the Investec Coronation Cup as a target for Idaho but Ryan Moore told the trainer how well Idaho stayed the extended 1m5f trip and, as a consequence, he may step up into staying company. He would be a fascinating Gold Cup runner at Royal Ascot and is a general 12-1 for that feature.

Ranger bound for Eclipse:

Richard Fahey has no Ribchester to go to war with in the Champions Series this summer after the miler’s retirement but he has another quality act on his hands in Forest Ranger.

Those who doubted the gelding’s defeat of Deauville at Newmarket last month had to think again after he followed up in the Group 2 Homeserve Huxley Stakes on Friday, albeit the oddson Eminent, who trailed home last, clearly did not give his true running.

“He’s become a man and he’s progressing,” Fahey said. “We’ll skip Ascot. The Coral-Eclipse (at Sandown) is where we are going.”