Good morning all,
Whilst I'll be working at Huntingdon today, the action couldn't be more different at Chester but seeing as it's on the TV, I thought I'd take a look and see if there's some value to be had. My thoughts are on the main piece.
1.50 – 5f Handicap
Plenty you can give a chance to but I’m going with old Confessional, who often rolls up here for his seasonal debut and although he’s not won, he’s gone close before, and this time around he’ll have soft ground which can only help his cause. Stall 5 is fine and there’s not that much early pace inside him either, so there’s a good chance he can grab a decent position. Three wins and five places from 17 starts at Chester shows how much he likes the place, and he’s got a solid e/w chance here.
2.25 – Dee Stakes (1m 2½f)
You’d have to say that the favourite Circus Maximus is going to take a lot of beating here, given his final start of last year saw him finish a length behind stablemate Magna Grecia at Doncaster and he’s proven with cut in the ground as well. That looks very solid form indeed and only Mohawk, the O’Brien second string, has form even approaching it (and that on quick ground). Not hard to see the heavy hitters going in on this and giving the trainer his sixth win in the last eight years in the race.
3.00 – 7½f Handicap
With the ground as it is, you want a miler for this, and the one that ticks plenty of boxes for me is Lola’s Theme, for local trainer Tom Dascombe. Twice a winner over a mile last year, both times in soft ground, and when successful at York, made all the running. So from stall 2 here, she could take plenty of beating if she’s ready to go first time up. There’s surely more to come from her this year too, and she looks the value.
Dascombe’s other runner, Barristan The Bold, has won from a wide draw at Chester last year too, so the fact he’s in stall 11 isn’t the curse that it might have been on quicker ground. He too handles some cut and but I just wonder whether he’ll have used a bit too much petrol up early, and be susceptible in the closing stages.
3.35 – Ormonde Stakes (1m5½f)
After a pretty awful spell Ian Williams looks to finally coming out of the gloom and that just swings me towards Magic Circle in receipt of 7lb from Kew Gardens here. Last year’s Chester Cup winner will undoubtedly try and put his stamina to good use and you can expect to see him track likely pacemaker Warnaq for the first half of the contest before trying to kick on. He handles some cut fine, and although he disappointed in the Melbourne Cup, you can’t really hold that against him.
Kew Gardens is the one to beat in form but even money makes little appeal given he’s got to give that bit of weight away, and although he does handle some cut, many of his better efforts last year, including his St Leger win, came on quicker ground. I’ll chance Magic Circle to turn him over.
Today's selection – Lola's Theme 3.00 Chester
Good luck with all your bets today,