The Classic winning trainer and former Liverpool and England striker are seeking success at next month's Boodle May Festival at Chester Racecourse.

The tote+ Chester Cup entry Solent Gateway and HomeServe Dee Stakes (Listed) hope Mr McCann are both in the running from Michael Owen's Manor House Stable in Cheshire and Mr Palmer has recently made the move from Newmarket to train them.

Speaking to Chester Racecourse, Hugo Palmer said: "Michael’s passion and enthusiasm was a very convincing factor. He is hugely ambitious for Manor House and to grow the yard. He wants it to be one of the biggest yards in the country and that’s my ambition as well."

His new partner, Michael Owen, said: "It’s an exciting time for Manor House Stables. I bought the place about 18 years ago and I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited as I am at the moment.

"There’s a new trainer in town. That’s given everybody a huge lift. We’re now training a real chunky string of horses and of course we’re at the start of some big racing festivals."

The Boodles May Festival remains a key target for the local training operation, with the duo hopeful for some early success at the Roodee next week.

"Over time I’m going to make it my ambition to win every race at the May festival.

"We’ve got a long way to go but I think the Chester Cup is the most prestigious and possibly even the hardest race to win. If we could knock the hardest one off first then that might be a good start."

Owen's close ties to another elite sport are evident with Mr McCann, a three-time winner last season, the three-year-old horse is owned by the AJT Group, formed by Liverpool players Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and former Reds midfielder Adam Lallana.

Mr Owen said: "I was in contact with James Milner, and he showed an interest in owning a horse with a few of the lads. He went and got a few of them together, checked out who was interested, and half a dozen of them all chipped in and left it to us to go and buy one.

"We thought he would be an early runner for them to get them going and get them interested. Little did we know that he would turn out to be this good.

"First stop for Mr McCann this season is the Dee Stakes at Chester, and if he runs well in that he has a Derby engagement which is quite stunning for the lads’ first horse. It’s been a success story so far and long may that continue."

Palmer’s challenge in the £151,000 tote+ Chester Cup is led by Solent Gateway. The four-year-old made his seasonal reappearance last week to finish third at Epsom and connections are hopeful he can secure his place in Chester’s most prestigious handicap.

Mr Palmer said: "Solent Gateway ran a great reappearance race at Epsom in the Great Metropolitan Handicap last week. As a result, he avoids a penalty which is disappointing because the penalty would have guaranteed us a run in the race.

"He only needs three to come out so I think there’s a decent chance he may get in."

Solent Gateway could be joined by stablemate and recent winner Rajinsky.

"Rajinsky won at Ripon on Saturday which puts him right up near the top of the weights but that said, provided one of the horses above him doesn’t run, he doesn’t have a massive weight. He could very easily go to the Chester Cup.

"I’ve never had a runner in the Chester Cup. It’s one of those magical, historical races and it’s important to this yard and this part of the world.

"To have two live chances at just the start of our sixth week here is exciting, and if we’re very lucky we’ll get them both here."

Other notable entries for the stable include Ever Given and Glorious Angel.

Ever Given, a three-year-old by Kodi Bear, will be aimed at The Deepbridge Handicap Stakes over seven-furlongs on Thursday, while two-year-old Glorious Angel will be hoping to get things off to a good start in the opening race of the meeting - The ICM Stellar Sports Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes.

Speaking of the youngsters chances, Mr Palmer said: "We ran a nice filly called Glorious Angel. What really pleased me about her debut at Nottingham nine days ago was that she was very smartly away from the stalls.

"She was a bit green mid-race before running on and finishing third. I hope that she’ll have learnt a lot from that. She’ll do a piece of work before the end of this week.

"I would hope that would set her in good stead before probably going to the Lily Agnes at the Chester May Festival."

The Boodles May Festival takes place at Chester Racecourse from Wednesday 4th May to Friday 6th May. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit