First day of  the Chester May meeting sees the 188Bet Chester Cup taking centre stage at 3.35, with 17 runners going to post.

The good Doctor Koukash is triply represented, but it’s hard to see any of his horses figuring at the business end today, especially Angel Gabrial, which is drawn 19 of 17, which presumably is on the wrong side of the running rail. (No, me neither)

Favourite, and a worthy one at that, is the Alan King trained Who Dares Wins, best priced at 11-2 and a must bet for all fans of Only Fools….

Laid out for this race after finishing 3rd in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, this 5-y-o is already a winner round this idiosyncratic track and, with a good draw in 7, must have every chance under Tom Marquand, who has trained on well after his apprenticeship. More’s the pity that This Time Next Year was a late withdrawal, otherwise it might have been a Peckham 1-2.

A reasonably meaty e/w punt at 11-2 is recommended.

Always best to have a back-up plan in races like this, and in Sir Mark P’s Sea Of Heaven we have the ideal pick for a small win ‘cover’. Last season was one of continual improve for this doughty stayer, which promises to be even better as a 5-y-o and, with the stable in blinding form, the 8-1 should be taken.

Finally in this race, we recommend a tiny(ish) e/w investment on Sir Chauvelin at 20-1. Jim Goldie’s charge has been recently re-invented as a stayer and going even further up to today’s trip may eke out even more improvement.

Earlier on the card, at 2.25, the Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks takes place, with the favourite being supplied (surprise) by Aiden O’Brien in the shape of Alluringly, priced up at a less than juicy 11-8. Considering this filly took three goes to win a maiden, this looks bad value and we much prefer the chances of Johnny G’s entry Enable.

A winner of her only race at 2 at Newcastle in late November (2nd, 3rd & 4th all won next time), Enable finished a staying on 3rd behind stablemate Shutter Speed at Newbury last month and, with that winner being allocated a mark of 108, the slightest improvement will make this daughter of Nathaniel hard to beat under the Mad Italian.

At 9/4, this looks a good bet to turn over the fav.

See you back at Nelson Mandela House afterwards.

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