It was Johnnie Ray who famously converted the word ‘just’ into two syllables and it looks relevant today as the heavens are predicted to open for the first day of the Chester Cup meeting.

(‘Johnnie who?’ ‘Find it on YouTube, mate’)

With just the first four races being shown by ITV, we will go in chronological order, starting at 1.50 with the Stellar Group Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes, which, at least at the time of writing, has a field of 8.

Favourite is Richard Fahey‘s Brocklesbury winner Show Me Show Me, which is drawn 8 and saddled with a 3lb penalty, so we prefer the chances of Great Dame at 7-2.

This Dabdy Man filly was ‘expected’ on debut for David O’Meara but ran no sort of race, finishing 7th. Different story next time however, when making all at Ripon for an easy win over a horse which won impressively next time out.

Better things are expected and a win bet is advised.

The Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks at 2.25 is a 3-1 the field affair and we like the chances of Braveheart‘s runner Vivid Diamond. Available at a juicy 12-1,  this Cape Cross filly will relish every drop of rain that falls and can outrun her price under Franny. Back her each way, please.

Back to the minimum trip at 3.00 for the Boodles Diamond Handicap and in this we go for Recon Mission, each way at 10-1.

Very useful form in Ireland as a 2-y-o, RM ran a stormer on debut for Tony Carroll when a close fourth at Sandown, on unsuitable good to firm ground. With that run under his belt and on soft going, they may not see which way it went.

The MBNA Chester Vase Stakes at 3.35 completes the coverage and we give King Ottokar as a confident bet at 5-2. Described by his trainer as ‘the best I have ever trained’, Charlie Fellowes‘ pride and joy can prove it this afternoon under ‘go to’ jockey Ben Curtis.

Back with more whimsical musings tomorrow.


Great Dame 1.50 Chester 2pts win @ 7-2
Vivid Diamond 2.25 Chester 1pt e/w @ 12-1
Recon Mission 3.00 Chester 2pts e/w @ 10-1
King Ottokar 3.35 Chester 4pts win @ 5-2

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