It was announced on Tuesday that no decision would be made on Churchill’s participation in the Derby until after the Chester and probably York Trials over the next ten days. The colt was a good winner of the 2000 Guineas and my immediate reaction when he past the post was he wouldn’t get a mile-and-a-half in a horsebox but the decision does not appear to be that cut and dried. Churchill is 11/4 at BetVictor for the Epsom classic but I certainly wouldn’t be in a rush to back him.
The Chester executive have watered the Roodeye ahead of the opening day of their May meeting with the feature the Chester Cup. I hinted earlier in the week that I think Blakeney Point (3.35) has plenty going for him with going, draw and course form all ticks in the right boxes. At 8/1 with BetVictor I would be disappointed if he couldn’t reward each way support.
It is well documented how important track position is on the Roodeye and the draw has scuppered the chances of Big Time Maybe in the opening Lily Agnes for Tom Dascombe. A number of the fancied runners are also housed in the Silver Ring, but Requinto Dan (1.50) lost nothing in defeat at Musselburgh against a talented newcomer of Bryan Smart giving the winner 4lbs last time. The selection is drawn in stall five and goes unpenalised for his fluent win in the Brocklesby (well second division) at Doncaster last month.
The Cheshire Oaks is a cracker with Rich Legacy carrying a 5lbs penalty for her Gp 2 May Hill success back in September – she will do well to defy the penalty in this company. Aidan O’Brien brings over Alluringly who improved significantly on her juvenile form when landing a Tipperary maiden over nine furlongs on her reappearance. A beautifully bred filly she is currently 25/1 for the Oaks and 7/4 for this afternoon’s listed contest.
The O’Brien filly is much respected but Enable (2.25) lost little in defeat behind her stablemate Shutter Speed at Newbury on her reappearance especially as she race a bit keenly throughout that 10f contest. She looks to be crying out for this 12f trip and if she is more amenable to restraint must go close in a quality renewal of this Oaks trial. The selection is 2/1 at BetVictor and I make it a match between the market leaders.
Stradivarius looked like playing second fiddle to Election Day for much of the race at Beverley last time but the runner up fell in a hole and the John Gosden trained Sea The Stars colt picked up the pieces. A 12lbs rise looks harsh, however and preference is for the locally trained Teodoro (4.05).
The Tom Dascombe stable won this corresponding race with non-other than Brown Panther back in 2011 and this inmate carries a 6lbs penalty for winning at Redcar over 1m 1f last week. This step up in trip should suit and he must go close in a race where five of the eight-strong field won their last outing.
Mutarabby (4.35) should land the 10f maiden for Godolphin having ran a good second at Leicester on his reappearance last month. The winner did little for the form at Newmarket last weekend but the selection is open to further improvement with the champion jockey taking over in the plate.
There is a valuable card at Newton Abbot and Capitaine (4.45) can see off The Gipper in what looks a virtual match in the Beginners’ Chase for Paul Nicholls. The grey should make up into a decent novice chaser this season and this looks an excellent starting point.
Emma Todd got a good tune out of Oliver’s Gold at Market Rasen last time and must have every chance of following up from only a 1lb higher mark but King’s Wharf (2.45) has his first start for Gavin Cromwell having left Willie Mullins since running well in a better race than today’s at Leopardstown back in January. All his five career wins have been on good ground and Jack Kennedy comes across the Irish Sea for the ride.
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