Chester Cup day dawns, with the eponymous race due off at 3.35, with a field of 16 going to post.
Favourite at 3-1 is the Braveheart trained Austrian School, last seen landing the money for us at Musselburgh, over 1m 6f on good ground. Today it’s 2 & a quarter miles on soft ground and, much as we respect this horse’s chances, we must oppose at such a skinny price.
Our main selection is the Hughie Morrison trained Fun Mac, which is available at 10-1. This 8-y-o has reappeared in this very race for the past two years and has finished third and second so it’s logical to assume that esteemed trainer has laid it out once again. Add the fact that the beastie is 8lbs lower in the ratings than a year ago and we have ourselves an each way bet par excellence.
We also have two other each way bets to put forward for this race, which are Who Dares Wins at 10-1 and Cleonte at 6-1.
WDW has, like Fun Mac, also been placed in the last two runnings and tuned up for this with a solid third on soft ground at Newbury, while Cleonte finished third in a Group 3 at Ascot just nine days ago and reverts to handicap company off a winnable rating.
The card begins with the Liverpool Gin Earl Grosvenor Handicap at 1.50 and there is no getting away from the favourite in this one.
Ptarmigan Ridge ran an absolute stormer on seasonal re-appearance to be second at Haddock and is one from one over this course. Not a massive price, but a win bet at 5-2 is recommended.
The only Group race on the card is at 2.25 when the Homeserve Huxley Stakes takes place and in this race, we are going to oppose the short priced favourite and go for Forest Ranger to repeat its victory of last year. The second to Zabeel Prince at Newmarket three weeks ago will have put Richard Fahey‘s 5-y-o spot on for today and rates a good bet at 100-30.
The Boodles Diamond Handicap at 3.00 is the other televised race, an eleven runner affair over a mile and a quarter. At 4-1 the field this has an open look to it, but our trusty pin has come down on the side of Frankuus, from the David O’Meara yard.
A winner of a Group 3 just 6 runs ago (for previous trainer), Frankuus showed distinct signs of returning to its best when second at Ripon a couple of weeks ago and today’s trip and ground should be ideal. For safety’s sake we suggest an each way bet at 4-1.
Bon chance, tout le monde.
Fun Mac 3.35 Chester 2pts e/w @ 10-1 (5 places)
Who Dares Wins 3.35 Chester 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (5 places)
Cleonte 3.35 Chester 1pt e/w @ 6-1 (5 places)
Ptarmigan Ridge 1.50 Chester 2pts win @ 5-2
Forest Ranger 2.25 Chester 2pts win @ 100-30
Frankuus 3.00 Chester 2pts e/w @ 4-1