The final day of the Chester May Festival, and an afternoon where the big race of the week, the Tote Chester Cup, takes centre stage.
Big fields and puzzling handicaps make a Placepot a challenging bet to place, but it can certainly be rewarding if successful.
There’s a bit of cover for those getting on early, with Tote Placepot Insurance available to anyone placing their bet before midnight on Thursday. Should you bet go down in the first leg, Tote will refund your stake, up to £10. T&Cs apply.
Here’s who we suggest you include…
Over the last six years, 53% of horses finishing in the frame in the opener (Leg 1 – 13:45) on Chester Cup day have been drawn in stalls one to three. That comes from a representation of just 26% of the total field.
It may seem over the top to include three horses in the first leg, but it may yield bumper returns if it doubles (or even triples) your number of winning legs.
REVICH, in stall one, won twice at Chester last term and has run some good races over a mile in the Spring Mile and the Lincoln. Back in trip he looks dangerous.
DULAS (in two) put up a career best on seasonal reappearance and gets in off a very light weight.
Finally, GROVE FERRY (stall three) is largely consistent, finishing in the frame on seven of his 10 outings. He failed to land a blow in the Lincoln but might be seen to better effect down in trip here.
It’s hard to oppose EL ASTRONAUTE as far as the Placepot is concerned. John Quinn’s chestnut is the highest rated here, and even given weight to his rivals is clear on the figures. Form figures of 2121 around Chester show that he’s as effective on the Roodee as he is everywhere else. The slight underperformance when last seen back in September at Haydock is a minor concern, but he probably won’t need to be at his best to bag a spot in the first two here.
Two at bigger prices that are worth a spot in your Placepot feature in the Tote Chester Cup, and the consolation race, the Tote Chester Plate.
In the feature, Ralph Beckett’s FUTURE INVESTMENT (Leg 3 – 14:45) is fancied to outrun his likely dividend. His trainer has suggested that the Chester Cup had been the long term plan for the horse ever since he won his maiden at the track two years ago. He returned with victory last term, and looks a stayer on the up, especially when the rain is about.
FRANKENSTELLA is an intriguing filly in the Chester Plate (Leg 6 – 16:20). She has won three of her last five outings, staying on well in the latter stages of her races. Her return behind Rare Groove at Newcastle looked like a horse who would come on for the run, rather than one at the end of her run of improvement.
The Group 2 Huxley Stakes looks a very good renewal with four of the five harbouring reasonably strong claims. It might be wise to include two selections in your Placepot for a better chase to progress.
Aidan O’Brien’s ARMORY was chinned late in the Cox Plate on his most recent start, and before that was within 2l of Magical and Ghaiyyath in the Irish Champion Stakes. That level of form is far and away the best single performance from anything in this field. A repeat of that will see him go close.
PALAVECINO is a bit of an outsider, but there wasn’t much between him and Bangkok on their Lingfield meetings, and with a course win already in the bag, he might be underestimated.
Leg 1: Revich, Dulas, Grove Ferry
Leg 2: Armory, Palavecino
Leg 3: Future Investment, Who Dares Wins
Leg 4: El Astronaute
Leg 5: Lawn Ranger
Leg 6: Elysian Flame, Frankenstella
3 x 2 x 2 x 1 x 1 x 2 = 24 lines