Chester May Festival: Changing of the Guard books Epsom Derby ticket with Vase win over New London | Race News

The Changing of the Guard threw their hats into the Derby ring with an utterly impressive display in the Boodles Chester Vase.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien had saddled a record nine previous Group Three contest winners, with his Ruler Of The World the latest horse to follow at Epsom in 2013.

O’Brien is already home to the ante-post favorite for the first Classic in the form of third Luxembourg in Saturday’s 2000 Guineas.

And while the hitherto unbeaten New London were the colt that should emerge as perhaps Luxembourg’s biggest threat with a victory over the Roodee, Changingoftheguard had other ideas.

Sent straight ahead by Ryan Moore, the 100/30 odds quickly provided a handy buffer on the prohibitively expensive 4/11 Charlie Appleby, New London.

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Michael Owen has told Sky Sports Racing that expectations are “high” for his new partnership with coach Hugo Palmer after the pair combined for victory at the Chester May Festival with Ever Given.

Sky Bet have reduced the winner’s Derby odds to 8/1 from 50/1, while New London are at 12/1 from 9/2.

“He was impressive there and we always thought he would stay well,” O’Brien said. “He had just lied in his maiden at Punchestown before he left and won his maiden very well at Dundalk.

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Winning owner Dave Lowe has praised Laura Pearson’s driving skills after Absolutelyflawless won the Lily Agnes Stakes in Chester on the opening day of the May Festival, live on Sky Sports Racing.

“There was no doubt on our part that he would step up and improve to ride on the trip.

“The only thing we weren’t sure about today was the ground when it was raining because he’s such a fluid move, but he seems to have handled it well.

“We were delighted with the race and I think following that you would have to say he would go to Epsom now.”

Buick offered no apologies to the beaten favorite, telling Sky Sports Racing: “He has not had a bad run but lacks experience. He has relearned and the winner has improved. He will get plenty out of it.”

Sky Sports

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