Wirko tries to solidify his Cazoo Derby claims with a victory in the Chester Vase.
Charlie Appleby’s colt is already assured of a place in the first Classic, having successfully started his campaign in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom a fortnight ago – a Listed event that features an automatic qualification for the centerpiece of ‘Epsom June 5.
But with the colt Kingman having only raced three times so far, Appleby is keen to give him more experience and sees Wednesday’s group three game as a perfect springboard for Epsom.
He said: “He has his golden ticket to Epsom, but firstly we want to give him more experience and secondly, we hope the 1.5 mile shift in Chester will see further improvement.
“He has done all his best work in the last two hundred meters at Epsom and he is a horse that we believe with his pedigree and his way of running should be adapted by a step forward.
“He’s from Kingman, but he has a German pedigree on the dam side, so one would hope he will be able to handle softer ground.”
Wirko is one of two runners owned by Godolphin along with John’s Law Of The Sea and Frankie Dettori’s mount Thady Gosden.
The son of Derby hero Golden Horn is two in two this year, most recently impressing at a rookie event in Leicester.
Thady Gosden said: “He has won well in his last two starts, first at Kempton and then at Leicester last time.
“He’s a beautiful horse who’s already gained over a mile and a half and he should handle the soft ground.
“It’s a tough race, but I hope he runs well.”
Aidan O’Brien has won the Chester Vase nine times and has declared three runners for this year’s renewal.
However, with the two real favorites Sir Lamorak and San Martino eliminated due to inappropriate ground, the Ballydoyle manager will be leaning on Sandhurst, who is rising from a distance after finishing sixth in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket three weeks ago.
The Youth Spirit of Andrew Balding, the Fancy Man trained by Richard Hannon and the Pleasant Man of the court of Roger Charlton complete the training.