The second Day of the Chester May meeting begins with a valuable eight-runner ten-furlong handicap and the reappearance of Paul Cole’s former Royal Ascot winner Berkshire. The six-year-old is still an entire but his form tailed off towards the end of last season after making all to win at Windsor back in August.
A market move for the Cole horse would be significant but the lightly-raced Khairaat (1.50) has won two of his three career starts to date and remains open to significant improvement. His draw in stall one is an obvious plus, champion jockey Jim Crowley is in the plate and Berkshire and/or Sennockian Star should ensure a decent gallop. The selection is 13/8 at BetVictor and he can get favourite backers off to a winning start.
I am hoping William Buick and Folkswood (2.25) can lead Ryan Moore and Deauville (13/8 fav) into the first bend and make all in the Gp 3 Huxley Stakes for Godolphin. The selection was touched off close home at Newmarket over their straight nine furlongs last time having run well in Meydan over the winter on turf. The selection is housed in stall two and, if he gets a soft lead, he can fend off what looks sure to be a host of challengers in the short straight. The selection is 9/2 at BetVictor and I think that might be the value.
The hood is left off the keen-going Via Egnatia in the 3-year-old handicap for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori and if the colt settles in front, he will be difficult to peg back around these tight turns. At 7/2 with BetVictor he makes plenty of appeal but the hope is that Mutawatheb (3.00) will get the true gallop he needs at this trip and can pounce fast and late for Jim Crowley. The selection is 11/2 at BetVictor and I would be disappointed if he didn’t make the three.
Ruler Of The World (2013) was the last Chester Vase winner to land the Epsom Derby and make no mistake this is a genuine trial for the most famous classic of them all. Aidan O’Brien, who has trained the winner of this contest for the last four years, saddles four of the eight runners which suggests to me that he is not convinced he has a Derby winner among his quartet.
All four of the recent Ballydoyle winners went off market leader and Ryan Moore has plumped for recent Tipperary winner Venice Beach (5/2 fav with BetVictor) of the quartet. I am going to take a chance, however, with Godolphin’s Tamleek (3.35) who looked a horse of huge potential when winning a Newmarket maiden over 10f last month.There have already been four subsequent winners come out of that contest and, at 6/1 with BetVictor, I hope he can reward each way support.
The selection lacks the sexy pedigree of some of the Irish challengers but he looked smart at HQ and the hope is that this big horse can handle the tight track on the Roodeye.
Dahik (4.10) looked a sure-fire future winner when runner up at Doncaster on debut and he is a confident selection to go one better. Trained in Newmarket by Roger Varian stall three looks an ideal post for the selection with Dragons Tail, one of five runners from the local stable of Tom Dascombe, considered the danger. The newcomers will have to be well above average to take a hand but do look out for a market move for Noseda’s newcomer the filly Kat O’Strophic.
Caponova (5.15) has been raised 8lbs for winning at Haydock Park on his reappearance but that career best effort suggested the four-year-old had improved for another winter on his back.
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