Andrew Mount’s Placepot Pointers
Boodles May Festival – Tote Chester Cup Day
Last year’s winner BOARDMAN has a fantastic record in the spring once he’s had a run or two, and he can be forgiven his last-time-out Haydock defeat as the steady early pace didn’t suit. He looks certain to encounter a strong gallop here and is sure to be finishing to good effect. FFION is drawn very wide, but that could be an advantage now that the inside rail has been churned up after racing on Wednesday/Thursday. He’s won on his last two course visits, including when drawn in stall 10 of 11 on one occasion, and is tactically versatile.
PRIDE OF AMERICA looks the sole pace angle in this 1m2f handicap cand could be hard to pass under Hollie Doyle. Amy Murphy’s six-year-old has had a wind operation since finishing sixth at Saint Cloud in March and both his previous runs immediately following surgery resulted in all-the-way victories. The soft ground will suit, and he won by five and a half lengths on his only previous Chester outing. Andrew Balding’s GROUNDBREAKER fared best of those to come from off the pace when a 20-1 fourth of 13 in a hot 1m2f handicap at Newbury last September and Majestic, sixth overall and third best of those ridden patiently, won the Cambridgeshire on his next start. Groundbreaker hasn’t been seen since but he won at the first time of asking last season and his trainer has a great record here.
3 Pride Of America
Aidan O’Brien’s record in the Group 2 Huxley Stakes reads 21121 (3-5), improving to 111 (3-3) with favourites. POINT LONSDALE, the 6-4 favourite at the time of writing, has form figures below Group 1 level of 11111 (5-5) and looks a Placepot banker.
4 Point Lonsdale
FALCON EIGHT landed the tote Chester Cup two years ago on his return from a 314-day break and his disappointing fifth of 14 in last year’s renewal might have come too soon – just 33 days after his close-up third in a Grade 2 hurdle at Fairyhouse. He’s been rested since late December and looks set to run a big race under Ryan Moore. EUCHAN GLEN finished a creditable 22-1 fourth of 14 from off the pace at Musselburgh last time and, while he’d prefer a more galloping track, his patient style could be an asset as he’s likely to challenge wide on the better ground in what should be a strongly-run contest.
2 Falcon Eight
5 Euchan Glen
This 1m4f maiden looks a tricky leg to negotiate. I’ll opt for the two newcomers – KING OF THE PLAINS and MEDIEVAL GOLD, as well as likely favourite BANDERAS, just touched off at Newbury last time.
3 King Of The Plains
5 Medieval Gold
Andrew Balding is the go-to-trainer in apprentice handicaps at Chester but with his AUSTRALIAN ANGEL a non-runner I’m going to side with WHIRLWIND, a likely improver after a wind operation, SWIFT TUTTLE, another wind op recipient and one who’ll love the soft conditions, and AQWAAM, whose trainer does well when fitting one of his turf handicappers with first-time cheekpieces.
11 Swift Tuttle
Head over to tote.co.uk to put on your placepot.