Day Two of the Chester Cup meeting today contains a mixture of Conditions races and competitive handicaps and is an improvement on yesterday’s rather prosaic card.

Feature race of the day is the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes, a Group 3 contest over an extended 1m 5f and no prizes for guessing who fields the hot favourite.

Idaho is a Group 1 horse, competing at level weights against five opponents which are probably no more than Listed class. With a warm up in a footling little race in Dubai, worth just £2,666,667 to the winner, this 5-y-o is unlikely to be extended, hence his price of 4-5. Our policy of not giving odds-on shots still pertains, but only just.

Other feature race is at 2.25 when the Homeserve Dee Stakes takes place and the horse with the outstanding form is the William Haggas trained My Lord And Master.

This Derby entry was a close second in the Epsom Derby Trial, finishing well ahead of Dee Ex Bee, which was just touched off in the Chester Vase yesterday. The winner of that race, another Haggas inmate, was thrashed by six lengths last November by MLAM so the form could hardly have worked out better.

In 3-y-o races, there is always the danger that something among the opposition will have improved out of all recognition and it is also impossible to gauge the relative merits of the Aiden O’Brien raider, but, having got all the excuses in early, we recommend a win bet on My Lord And Master at 11-4.

Proceedings start with a 5f handicap at 1.50 and good luck with that one.

The first real handicap is at 3.00, the Abbey Logistics Handicap over seven & a half furlongs, with a field of 13. Favourite at 11-2 is the George Scott trained Another Batt, which capped a really good 2-y-o campaign with a victory in a Group 3 in Turkey. A third in the Free Handicap at Newmarket  will have this gelding spot on for today and it’s worth an each way bet under SDS.

We also suggest an each way bet in this race on the Irish challenger Caffe Macchiato at a general 8-1. Easy winner of its latest race, when blinkered for the first time, there are compelling reasons to think that this horse is very well handicapped on its 2-y-o form.

The other two handicaps are at the end of the day, and in the English Fine Cottons Handicap at 4.35 we suggest a bet on Ghostwatch at 11-4. Only cost £2,100,000 gns as a yearling and has quickly recouped £3,752 of that by winning a Wolverhampton maiden 3 weeks ago. However, the two runs last year, when 3rd both times, suggest a mark of 82 today is lenient.

Last but not least, the Partner Tech Handicap at 5.05 over a mile and a quarter(ish) brings us to our final bet, which is an each way lump on Fast Dancer at 7-1. The 11-4 favourite for this race is Never Surrender, which ran fourth in a Newbury handicap on reappearance last month. Just ahead of it that day and finishing stronger, was Fast Dancer, also on seasonal debut, so, at more than twice the price, the value surely lies with Joe Tuite’s 6-y-o.

Hope so, anyway.


My Lord And Master 2.25 Chester win @ 11-4 Betbright
Another Batt 3.00 Chester e/w @ 11-2 SkyBet (4 places)
Caffe Macchiato 3.00 Chester e/w @ 8-1 Ladbrokes
Ghostwatch 4.35 Chester win @ 11-4 Coral
Fast Dancer 5.05 Chester e/w @ 7-1 PaddyPower (4 places)


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