05/06/2014 1:25PM

O'Brien has pair for Chester Vase


The Group 3 Chester Vase, a trial for the Epsom Derby, will get more attention than usual this year since the race’s 2013 winner, Ruler of The World, went on to an upset victory in the Derby. Ruler of The World, however, was the first horse to score a Vase-Derby double since Shergar in 1981.

Ruler of The World’s trainer, Aidan O’Brien, has two of the nine entrants Thursday in Carlo Bugatti and Orchestra. Both colts are twice-started with wins in nondescript races; Orchestra makes his 3-year-old debut, while Carlo Bugatti finished fourth last month in the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes over 1 1/4 miles at Navan.

The Vase is contested at 1 1/2 miles and 66 yards and run over a tight-turning, left-handed course. Ryan Moore, who pilots Orchestra, has ridden the Vase winner in three of the last six years. Joseph O’Brien is named to ride Carlo Bugatti and already has the mount on Aidan O’Brien’s leading Epsom Derby hope, Australia, the third-place finishers in the English 2000 Guineas last Saturday.

While neither of the O’Brien-trained Vase entrants are obviously formidable, the other seven intended runners in the race also lack group-stakes form.
Chester hosts another nominal Derby prep Friday, the listed Dee Stakes over a little more than 1 1/4 miles. The Dee last produced a Derby winner in 2003, when Kris Kin won both races.

Magician wins Mooresbridge Stakes

Magician, the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner, put forth only a workmanlike performance Monday at The Curragh, winning the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes by a neck over Parish Hall. The narrow closing victory came after Magician had finished sixth in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on March 30 at Meydan. O’Brien, who trains the 4-year-old Magician, said he was pointing the colt to the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup on May 25 at The Curragh.