Phil Kirby’s horse had no luck, at Newcastle, but Seymour Biz can see things going his way in Friday’s feature contest.
Chester is the oldest racecourse in England and is situated right in the middle of town making it very popular, the television cameras will be there for the full three days this week. It is now well established as a must for anyone in the Cheshire Set to attend, unfortunately a lot of them have little interest in in the horses and more interest in the champagne! However the Tattersall and Dee Stands will be packed with knowledgeable race goers, and the centre-course with families enjoying the party atmosphere. It is a practically circular course with horses on the turn throughout, so it helps if a horse is drawn low especially in races under a mile, a good start is essential, so here are my thoughts over the three days.
The first race on the card is the Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes, a five furlong dash round the turns of the Roodee, and we should be looking at a horse drawn low for this race, drawn in stall one would be nice. Tom Dascombe will have a strong hand here at this meeting and could well take this first race with Light my Fire, this speedy 2 year old won comfortably on her only start at Ripon first time out at April. Mick Channon has Kinks declared, a dual winner at Ripon and Bath last month, he could well run up a treble here. Next up is the Cheshire Oaks and Aidan O’Brien has entries here, Broadway looks to have every chance if running here, his previous runs have been on heavy going and he will appreciate the top of the ground conditions. Award Winning from John Gosden’s stable won at Wetherby last time and could run well again if turning out quickly. Another Irish raider is Princess Yaiza who has had a busy career to date on the all weather and turf, she looks another crying out for firmer going. At 3.00 is the Boodles Diamond Handicap with Formidable Kitt as favourite, this 3 year old filly from Tom Dascombe’s yard ran three times last year winning first time out, she can go well here. Showmethedough from Richard Fahey’s stable also has a chance, the gelding won at Ripon last year and has had a prep run for this. The big race of the day is the Chester Vase at 3.35, this race is a notable Derby Trial, Wings Of Eagles was second here last year before going on to win the Derby and Aidan O’Brien can take it this year with Flag Of Honour, a dual winner as a 2 year old, and third this year in a Grade 3 at Longchamp. William Haggas runs Young Rascal who won at Newbury in a Class 3 in April and will have every chance on that form, however Chester is different from the wide open spaces of the Berkshire course
1.50 Light My Fire
3.35 Flag Of Honour
On Thursday we start with the Gately PLC Handicap with Udontdoyou as favourite from Rae Guest’s card, a busy horse on the all weather with one win from three this year. More interesting I find is last years winner El Astronaute who has been aimed at this race again after running second in a prep run at Pontefract in April, he can run a big race. The Dee Stakes is another Derby Trial, again a target for Aidan O’Brien with Family Tree, a winner on his only run back in September, he is a Galileo colt and could be anything. O’Brien has several others declared and we will see which he runs in the 48 hour declarations. A popular winner would be Dee Ex Bee from Mark Johnston’s yard, twice a winner as a two year old, he has had one run this year coming third at Epsom to Crossed Baton, he looked that day as if he was crying out for further. At 3.00 we have a 7 furlong Handicap and the draw is paramount here, Aquarium from Mark Johnston’s stable is favourite and looks on a handy mark, he has two wins on the all weather here and could be the one to catch. However Porth Swtan from Charlie Hills’ stable won well first time out this year at Newmarket and also looks good. At a bigger price Tom Dascombe sends Dragons Tail looking for his first career win,he could be worth an each-way punt. The Ormonde Stakes at 3.35 is a Group 3 race and always attracts a high class field. At the head of the betting we have Idaho, a highly tried individual from Aidan O’Briens stable, he won the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last year and went on from there to run in Canada last year, and this year at Meydan UAE, in the Dubai Classic finishing eighth, if finding last summers form he should take this. Worth a mention is Red Verdon who has won once this year and connections hope he can be a Melbourne Cup horse.
1.50 El Astronaute
2.25 Dee Ex Bee
3.00 Porth Swtan
We start on Cup Day with the Earl Grosvenor Handicap and Said bin Saroor sends Silent Attack a winner on his only start this year on the all weather after a disappointing career to date. I prefer the look of Gulf of Poets trained by Mick Easterby with two wins to his credit at Haydock and Pontefract, the trainer invariably has a winner a this meeting and this could be it. Mickey is worth a mention on the basis of his two seconds this year on the all weather, but he has a bit to find. Then we have the Group 2 Huxley Stakes at 2.25 with Michael Meade’s Eminent at the head of the betting, fourth in last years Derby he has every chance here. Cliffs Of Moher was second in the race after leading well into the final furlong but went a bit off the boil after that, he may come back revitalised. Sir Michael Stoute has Mirage Dancer declared and he could be a very interesting contender after running third in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last year, but I like the look of Fabricate from the Bell stable, he won on the all-weather this year, then ran second to the top class Crystal Ocean in the Gordon Richards Stakes, he can go one better and win for The Queen. The Boodles Diamond Handicap at 3.00 has some top class handicappers including Grandee who has run once this year for David O’Meara and been second at Ripon – he can put in a good run. Roger Varian sends Battersea who has not won since 2016 but had a prep run for this in March, he can take this. Finally we have the Chester Cup, a race twice round this famous old course, at the top of the handicap we have Nakeeta from Ian Jardine’s stable who won the Ebor last year and ran well in the Melbourne Cup. Marwan Koukash loves to win this race and his big hope this year is Magic Circle, a horse he has just bought out of Ralph Beckett’s stable. Mark Johnston has Time To Study in this who was second last week in the Sagaro Stakes behind Torcedor, he will be spot on for this. However the one I like is Stargazer from Paul Kiby’s stable who won last time out at Newcastle despite being impeded by a loose horse however he lost the race in the stewards room for leaning on Island Brave, he can make amends here.
1.50 Gulf Of Poets
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