As is always the case at this time of the flat season it’s been a tricky couple of days but we have found a few winners along the way and the big priced Master Zoffany. (12/1) did us a favour yesterday. Lets hope we can find a few more to finish off what has been some excellent racing. Today is the best race of the week the Tote+ Chester Cup.
TOTE+ PLACEPOTS PAY MORE EARL GROSVENOR HANDICAP (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-105) Winner £10,308 11 runners 7f127y
It’s right that the market concentrates on Revich, Ascension and Dulas. The first two ran decent races in the Lincoln and had their excuses, the last named ran a very encouraging race at Haydock last time out to finish 2nd in a decent race. They are accordingly priced. The one who looks a little overpriced to me is Grove Ferry, well drawn in 3, split rivals in the Lincoln, where he raced a little too keenly and at 9/1 appeals most.
My Tips: 1 unit e/w Grove Ferry @ 9/1 and 1 unit e/w Revich at 4/1
MELODI MEDIA HUXLEY STAKES (GROUP 2) (Class 1) (4yo+) Winner £56,710 5 runners 1m2f70y
Only 5 go to post but it is a very good race. Armory for Aiden O’Brien runs his first race since finishing 2nd in the Cox Plate in Australia late last year. Has he strengthened up again from 3-4yo? If so, he may push his total prize money past a million pounds very shortly adding this race along the way. Sangarius has run some big figures both on soft ground on turf at Ascot and on the all weather at Lingfield and with only seven races to his name it is unlikely his trainer, Sir Michale Stoute, has got to the bottom of him yet. Andrew Blading’s Bangkok has been brilliant on the Lingield artificial surface and was too good for Palavecino last time out at Lingfield but I’m just not sure how he will handle the softer surface at Chester. I think this could be a big year for Armory and for that reason he is the selection in a race I can’t wait to see.
My Tip: 3 units win Armory @ 13/8
TOTE+ CHESTER CUP HANDICAP (Class 2) (4yo+) Winner £64,425 17 runners 2m2f140y
Simply the best race staged at Chester every year. I love these staying handicaps and this is a genuine belter. Let’s talk about 5 horses and back three to give as a decent chance of a good return. The favourite is Not So Sleepy and I may live to regret this but I think he would have to run 7lbs better than he has ever run on the flat to win this race and as a 9yo who has run 35 times on the flat I don’t think he can improve again. Who Dares Wins, for Alan King is simply an astounding horse, he has won over multiple trips on the flat, including this one, he has won over multiple trips over hurdles and multiple trips over fences. He epitomises the SAS motto as he just never stops trying and for that reason we need to keep him on side. Well drawn in 3 and very capable but again at 9 it would be surprising if something didn’t improve past him. Glencadam Glory is interesting. He has never run over this trip, has some back class and might just find this test of stamina, what he wants. The ground will be fine and if his run at Musselburgh has blown away the cobwebs. He may well out run his 16/1 price. I also like Cardano, for Ian Williams, who knows what it takes to win this race and again seems to be on an upward curve, running well over a shorter trip last time but not stopping and this might just be what he wants as well. The last one is Jedd O’Keefe’s horse, Rare Groove, who just keeps improving, every run. The ground and trip should be fine and I would be very bullish if he wasn’t drawn in 13. It won’t be easy for PJ McDonald, his able pilot but if he can get him in and travelling, he will be hard to keep out of the places.
My Tips : 1 unit e/w Glencadam Glory @ 16/1, 1 unit e/w Cardano @ 9/1 and 1 unit e/w Rare Groove @ 9/1
BOODLES CONDITIONS STAKES (Class 3) (3yo+) Winner £6,185 7 runners 5f15y
Decent enough sprint race with course and distance winner El Astronaute the logical favourite. If he doesn’t deliver, then the four year old, Ainsdale, whose best sprinting days are definitely ahead of him, may well pick up the pieces. El Astronaute has always run well fresh and I think this will be a slam dunk for John Quinn’s horse.
My Tip : 4 units win El Astronaute @ evens.
RETRAINING OF RACEHORSES HANDICAP (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-105) Winner £10,308 9 runners 1m2f70y
One horse that will love the softer ground is Lunar Jet, who came on a bundle late last year but put in a poor run first time out run on the AW at Newcastle. He is well drawn and there might be more to come back on his favoured surface. Dark Pine also ran poorly last time out and if David Loughnane has got to the bottom of that problem, then he would have a chance. Restorer has the class and goes well fresh, so he might be the best chance of owner, Dr Koukash getting on the score sheet. The one I fancy most is a previous winner, racing off the same mark today, Lawn Ranger, for Michael Attwater. Ground and track are fine and he ran OK last time out at Kempton
My Tips : 1 unit e/w Lawn Ranger @ 9/1 and 2 units e/w Restorer @ 4/1
TOTE+ CHESTER PLATE HANDICAP (Class 2) (4yo+) Winner £18,039 14 runners 2m2f140y
Recently added to this fixture, for those who didn’t get into the Cup, it’s been a good addition. In almost any other year the first 10 in this race would have made it into the cup race but the quality of the Cup just gets stronger and stronger. This one is tough. The four I have got it down to are Elysian Flame, who was an excellent winner for Mick Easterby last time out, Cleonte who has an awful lot of back talent and could win easily if firing, Speedo Boy who has been a star for Ian Williams and Brasca who is the up and coming star for Ralph Beckett. It’s hard to be dogmatic about any in particular but my two against the field are, Brasca and Cleonte.
My Tips 1 unit e/w Brasca @ 10/1 And 1 unit e/w Cleonte @ 15/2
RACING WELFARE SUPPORTING RACING’S WORKFORCE APPRENTICE HANDICAP (Class 4) (4yo+ 0-85) Winner £5,154 9 runners 1m4f63y
Our last race involves two horses who I think will fight out the finish and they are not the likely favourite Eltham Valley or previous winner Heart of Soul. The first is Richard RHB, trained by David Loughnane, who is bound to be popular. He is progressive and looks like he could take this in his stride. The second is Carlos Felix, for Phil Kirby, who looked to have lost his way a little last year but I think there are some good races to be won with him and this might well be one of them.
My Tips : 1 unit e/w Richard RHB @ 13/2 and 1 unit e/w Carlos Felix @ 15/2