No doubt Wallace & Gromit will be on the Roodeye this afternoon to witness 17 thoroughbreds hurtling round a dog track, in pursuit of a first prize of £92,385.

Yes, it’s Chester Cup day, with the eponymous race taking place at 3.35 and the favourite at 6-1 is Magic Circle, purchased by Marvellous Marwan specifically for this race and making its debut for the Ian Williams yard.

5th in this race last year, Magic Circle is without a recent run and also quite a bit higher in the weights today, so at pretty skinny odds in a race of this nature, we’ll apply the Spanish Archer.

Our suggestion is an each way bet on Grandee, a recent arrival to David O’Meara’s stable and very well-handicapped on the bulk of its Irish form from last season, when trained by the fragrant Jessica. A promising debut for this yard over 12 furlongs at Ripon last month bodes well for the horse’s chances today and the extreme distance of this afternoon’s contest will hopefully unlock hitherto unknown potential. Well drawn (3) and with the services of Champion Jockey elect Danny Tudhope (his words, not ours), this rates a sporting punt at 11-1 (5 places).

The only Group race on the card is the Homeserve Huxley Stakes (Group 2) at 2.25, for which Eminent is odds-on at 4-6. Everyone seems to expect this horse to win, so, in the absence of a sensible alternative, we just watch.

Competitive handicaps dominate the rest of the proceedings, starting with the Crabbie’s Earl Grosvenor Handicap at 1.50, in which we recommend an e/w bet on Gossiping at 5-1. Promise in its ‘prep’ race, three weeks ago, should be fulfilled under Shane Kelly.

The Boodles Diamond Handicap at 3.00 over a mile and a quarter is a 5-1 the field race in which we think Petite Jack may cause a surprise. Written off as an All Weather horse, this Archie Watson trained 5-y-o is fully 10lbs lower on turf and this race represents a drop in class, so at 9-1 an each way bet is advised.

The YCO Apprentice Handicap at 4.40 has thrown up another good bet in the shape of Jabbaar, trained by Iain Jardine. In the frame in all its three appearances at this course, this 5-y-o was noted staying on strongly into 7th in a Class 3 event at Thirsk last month and with the excellent Jamie Gormley on board, this rates a strong each way bet at 5-1.

The card closes with the consolation race for the Chester Cup, cunningly called the Chester Plate and this should provide the perfect opportunity for Alan King’s 5-y-o Coeur De Lion to prove its appellation is not a misnomer. The addition of cheekpieces should help this horse travel better and avoid the customary ‘flat spots’ and it will be staying on when most have had enough. 5-1 are the each way odds of reward.

Bring it on.



Grandee Chester 3.35 e/w @ 11-1 SkyBet (5 places)
Gossiping 1.50 Chester e/w @ 5-1 Ladbrokes
Petite Jack 3.00 Chester e/w @ 9-1 William Hill (1-4 odds) / 8-1 PaddyPower (4 places 1-5 odds)
Jabbaar 4.40 Chester e/w @ 5-1 BetVictor
Coeur De Lion 5.15 Chester e/w @ 11-2 Betbright

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