Sadly, this is all I’ve managed to post for my ‘home’ meeting of Chester. I had hoped to do more, but now they’ve re-arranged everything so that we get four all-aged Cl 2 handicaps – including the Chester Cup – on a Friday, what can one do!
Chester 15.35 Cl2 Hcap 924 (108) 18.5f gd – 17 Run
4yo =lb wfa allowance
Last year – 739 (103) gd – 17 ran
Montaly 16/1 6-9-6 (99) Dr 2 by 0.25l from Yorkidding 8/1 5-9-3 (96) Dr 3
Who Dares Wins 5/1 5-8-13 (92) Dr 7 was 1.5l 4th
Magic Circle 25/1 5-9-5 (98) Dr 18 was 2.25l 5th
Watersmeet 8/1 6-9-8 (101) Dr 6 was 2.75l 6th
Nakeeta 16/1 6-9-10 (103) was 9.62l 10th
[b]Watersmeet [/b]7-9-1 (99) Dr 2
30 Mar Cl 2 Stks (930 u) 16f AW Ling 3/1 Jt F 0.25l 3/9 off 106
set steady pace, quickened over 1f out, ridden entering final furlong, caught close home
Runs off a 2lbs lower mark than when a creditable 6th in last year’s renewal., but is a far better horse on the AW than turf as his 7lbs lower mark suggests and hasn’t won on the natural surface since 2015.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (42 days);
Minus: 3 years since last turf win;
Verdict: (45) better AW than turf and place rather than win best chance.
Time To Study 4-9-6 (108) Dr 7
02 May Gr 3 Stks (340 d) 16f sf Asc 11/4 5l 2/6 off 105
tracked winner throughout, tried to close as winner given breather over 4f out, pushed along over 3f out, no impression when hung right final 2f
Three times a winner last season at up to 14.5f and while weakening 1f out in the Cesarewitch off 102, looked to stay 16f in higher class at Ascot lto; has form on gd/fm to hv, so should handle the ground and has got a good pilot round here aboard; has been raised 3lbs for latest effort, however, and now has a fair bit of weight to carry for a 4yo.
Plus: class (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto; down in class;
Minus: going; course (?); up 3lbs;
Verdict: (41) promising 4yo stayer, but already high in the weights and not the strongest contender for the win off this mark perhaps.
Magic Circle 6-9-3 (101) Dr 6
Moved from the Beckett yard to Ian Williams in April and was a good 5th in last year’s renewal when starting with his outside hooves in the River Dee; far better draw this time round and while he’s off a 3lbs higher mark that deserved as he beat My Reward (-2) by 1l at York in August and then just 3 days later finished just 5.5l behind Nakeeta (-3) in the Ebor there; never better than midfield in the Cesarewitch on his final start, however.
Can go well fresh, but wonder if a drop of rain wouldn’t go amiss.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); down 1lb;
Minus: 209-day break;
Verdict: (38) far better drawn than last year and likely to make a bold bid on debut for new yard, a contender.
My Reward 6-9-2 (100) Dr 1
28 Apr Cl 2 Hcap (180 u) 16f gd/sf Ripon 7/1 4l 3/8 off 100
led, ridden and headed entering final furlong, weakened closing stages
Made all to win over 13f on gd here in September and showed he’d lost none of his ability by finishing 3rd at Ripon on his return – historically a good trial for this; runs off the same mark today; has a little to find with Magic Circle on York running, but has the benefit of race fitness and possibly better suited by the ground, plus plum draw for a front-runner.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); trainer (C); form run lto (13 days);
Verdict: (38) fit coming from a good trial and a contender on a course that suits.
Who Dares Wins 6-9-2 (100) Dr 15
Comes from a hurdles outing at Aintree as did a couple lf other recent winners, but runs off an 8lbs higher mark than when 4th in last year’s renewal thanks to winning the Cesarewitch Trial last September; subsequently finished in mid-field with his 4lbs penalty for the main event and is a further 4lbs higher today; however, My Reward gave him 3lbs and beat him by 8l prior to the Trial, although he was coming back from a break; not the best of draws in stall 15, but the booking of Moore still a plus.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); trainer (C);
Minus: up 3lbs; 209-day break Flat; trainer (14d) – 0/13;
Verdict: (38) booking of Moore will have shortened the price but not without chances on his best form; however, lack of recent flat run, plus wide draw, leave him as a contender with questions
Dubawi Fifty 5-8-13 (97) Dr 10
20 Mar Cl 2 Hcap (160 u) 16.5f AW Nwcs 5/6 F 0.5l 3/6 off 96
tracked leader, led over 2f out, ridden and headed over 1f out, 3rd and held towards finish
Lightly-raced sort with good strike rate (5/12) including 2/3 on turf, the ‘miss’ being when 4th to Withhold in the Cesarewitch off 90, albeit beaten 11l; added to his AW haul over the winter at Newcastle and Wolverhampton, before finishing 3/6 to American Gigolo over 16.5f back at Newcastle in a career best, just back of Stargazer (-1); now he returns to turf.
Plus: class (W); distance (W); form run lto; career best lto;
Minus: going; course (?); up 1lb; 52-day break;
Verdict; (34) largely unexposed on turf and not without chances, a contender.
Stargazer 5-9-1 (99) Dr 4
30 Mar Cl 2 Hcap (550 u) 12.5f AW Nwcs 12/1 1d off 95
held up towards rear, headway over 2f out, challenging and upsides rival when impeded by loose horse last 75 yards, kept on to lead close home (disqualified and placed 2nd)
Lightly raced, but won over 10f as a 3yo when with Stoute; gelded in May last year but missed the whole of the season and moved to the Kirby yard in March this year; finished just ahead of Dubawi Fifty (+1) over 16.5f at Newcastle in March and then lost a steward’s enquiry over 12.5f there 10 days later; nevertheless, has been raised 4lbs as he make his debut over this trip back on turf; certainly has potential on just his 9th start.
Plus: class (F); going (F); distance (F); trainer (14d); form run lto;
Minus: course (?); up 4lbs; 42-day break;
Verdict: (31) another unexposed sort with potential to make his mark, a contender.
The first major staying hcap of the season and again any number of possible contenders, though not I believe 2016 runner-up Nakeeta despite his 5th down under, for although his jockey claims a useful 3lbs no horse has won with 9-7 or more for a number of years. In general we’re looking for 4yo to 7yo with 4 to 10 hcap starts who have won in class 2 over 16f or more. Looking at weights and official marks, 8-9 to 9-4 has been the range, even though Montaly carried 9-6 to victory last year, while the last 11 have all been in the narrow 93 to 99 OR range – that might well go this year one thinks. The oddest one is in regard to the draw, as while 7 winners have come from stalls 1 to 5, there have also been 4 from stalls 11 or higher, with stalls 6 to 10 drawing a blank in the past 11 years.
Trying to prune my lengthy shortlist, Time To Study is the first to go with too much weight for a 4yo, both recent winners of that age had won one of their last 2 starts. He may go well, but I have to pass on the win, as I do with stable companion Watersmeet who is better on the AW and comes from a stks race in any case – I’m always wary of horses coming back to hcaps from stks. The previous year’s placed horses don’t have the greatest win record, so I’ll also pass on Who Dares Wins, especially with his high draw, which if not impossible to win off certainly isn’t a plus.
That leaves me with the quartet Magic Circle, My Reward, Dubawi Fifty and Stargazer, and in all honesty any of the four could win. So fingers crossed I’ve got the order somewhere near right I’m going for My Reward from Stargazer with Dubawi Fifty edging out Magic Circle for the minor places – providing Moore or one of Johnston’s pair don’t queer my pitch!
Any comments on today's racing. Please don't just put in selections ... please add some reason why you think a runner will win
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