Its the start of one of my favourite meetings this week in the Chester May Festival. A great spectacle in a great city and loads of top drawer racing.
The 1.50 kicks things off and its a 5 furlong Class 2 contest. The one that stand out for me here is Requinto Dream (3/1) for the northern powerhouse combination of Richard Fahey and Tony Hamilton. This one won very nicely on debut at Doncaster was a clear second the next time out at Musselburgh behind a highly rated prospect. Another one to maybe consider as an each way selection is Big Time Maybe (5/1) for the partnership of Tom Dascombe and Richard Kingscote that is very successful around this track. This one is a speedy sort which was just ran down on his debut run when second and his speed could certainly see him in the frame again.
2.25 is the 1m 3f Cheshire Oaks and is headed by an AP O’Brien shot in Alluringly. AP has a cracking record in this race and this one has a brilliant middle distance pedigree to her name and won well last time out at Tipperary which suggests she’s going to be very difficult to beat. However the one i’ll try to take her on with is Enable (2/1) for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. She beat three subsequent winners on debut and ran a decent race behind her promising stablemate Shutter Speed at Newbury last time out. She shapes as if the longer trip will suit and should certainly make a bold bid to get into the frame. If your looking for value against the market principals you could take a chance on Rich Legacy (7/1) for Ralph Beckett and Oisin Murphy, more experience than most here and has a Group 2 victory to her name. She was arguable disappointing when contesting Group 1 contests following that but however could be a player now dropped back into Listed company.
The 3.00 is another a five furlong contest and a very competitive one at that. You could argue a point for most of these but one that does stand out for me is El Astronaute (4/1) for John Quinn and Jason Hart. This one has decent form around this track which reads (212). He also seems to go well at the start of the season and certainly returned to the best of his abilities when winning at Newmarket on his seasonal debut last time out. He’s drawn in stall one which certainly plays to the positives. Another one I like as an each way chance is Reflektor (8/1) for Dascombe and Kingscote again. He’s another one that goes well at the beginning of the season and put in a couple of big performances here over five and six furlongs in handicap company at this course last year. He also has a good draw coming from stall four.
The 3.35 next which is the feature in the Chester Cup, it’s always a tough puzzle to solve but I’ll start off with the first one I like as an each way chance here and that’s Sir Mark Prescott’s Sea Of Heaven (7/1). He’s a nice sort this one is and has won around this track before and often runs a decent enough race and gets into the frame quite regulary, last season he took a decent handicap race at Ascot and was placed in several others similar to this. He has got a fairly wide draw in stall 14 which isn’t ideal but it could be worse and I think his form suggests he could put another big run in here. Sir Mark hasn’t had many runs about yet this term but the one’s that he has had have been running well. Luke Morris looks to take the ride. The next each way selection that I fancy is Who Dares Wins (10/1) for trainer Alan King. We last saw this one finishing an impressive third over hurdles in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival back in March where he knocked up a massive rating of 148. He’s entered in this contest off a mark of 98 which is intriguing to say the least, he hasn’t been seen on the flat for a few years but when last seen he looked to much prefer the quick ground than the soft which should certainly play to his advantage here if the forecast is correct. He could be a big player at a decent price. Tom Marquand is currently down for the ride. My final each way selection here is Yorkidding (12/1) for Mark Johnston. Now, this horse is one of my personal favourite flat horses as he gave me one of my biggest betting victories to date when being the final horse on a winning accumulator a few years back and i’ve always followed him since. However there is a bit more too it than just my own personal loyalties here as he has some decent form to his name going into this with two wins in Class 2 contests last season. He’s also ran some decent races around this track before and is certainly at a backable price. He’s coming from stall three and also has track specialist Richard Kingscote on board which is always a bonus around Chester as he knocks up winners for fun around here.
The 4.05 is a 1mile 4 contest and the one I like here is Stradivarius for (13/8) for John Gosden and Frankie, he has a big 12lb penalty to deal with following an impressive win at Beverley on seasonal debut but his pedigree suggests that he still has bags of improvement in him and should appreciate the distance here. If your looking for something to take the favourite on with I wouldn’t put you off backing Whip Nae Nae (7/1) as an each way selection for Richard Hannon and Ryan Moore. Well first off, I do need to say that name is absolutley horrendous and whoever has come up with that needs to have a serious word with themself. However thankfully the horses form is a lot better than it’s name. He finished a decent third over 1m 2 at Doncaster last time out on seasonal debut and despite the 3lb penalty asking a few questions over this longer trip he might just relish it and get into the frame.