Aidan O’Brien enjoys Chester’s May meeting and the master of Ballydoyle continued his impressive form this week with Star Of India, who justified favouritism to record a decisive success in the Listed Dee Stakes (1m2½f).
Last seen running fifth to subsequent 2,000 Guineas runner-up Native Trail in the Group 3 Craven Stakes, Star Of India enjoyed the step up in trip and ease in the ground.
Ryan Moore didn’t have to get too serious with the son of Galileo to see off Cresta by two-and-a-quarter lengths and become another live Derby candidate for the Coolmore partners alongside yesterday’s Chester Vase victor Changingoftheguard, also a son of Galileo.
The wining rider said: “I think he’s a nice horse and it was only his third run. He gave a nice performance at Leopardstown last year and he was still a little bit raw in the parade ring. A mile on fast ground [at Newmarket in the Craven] – it all just happened a bit quick for him.
“He’s done it nicely because he was still a bit green when he got to the front, so I think he’ll improve. He’s a very laidback horse and I’d say that we’re only just getting to know what he can do at home – we’re still learning about him.
“He was green early on. Once he had room and I went after him he picked up well. He’ll get better, there’s no doubt about that and he was getting to the line very easily then. He’s a nice type and I’d hope that he’d improve.
“I wouldn’t compare them [the two Chester winners], as I think they’re slightly different horses really. The horse yesterday [Changingoftheguard] was very impressive and the way this race was run this horse couldn’t be as impressive, but he overcame a few things and won well.”
O’Brien and Moore also teamed up to take the closing handicap with Temple Of Artemis.
The Group 3 Ormonde Stakes (1m5½f) fell to Hamish, trained by William Haggas for his father Brian, who also bred the Motivator gelding.
Thunderous gave it a good go from the front under Chester specialist Franny Norton but Tom Marquand always looked in control on Hamish as the pair scored by three-quarters of a length.