Wednesday May 7th
Chester’s tight turning track makes it one of the most draw dependant courses in the country and even it’s marathon distance Cup event is affected.
There’s only a furlong run to the first bend and low drawn runners can quickly secure a good position.
With the declarations and draw out today you are naturally led to look out who has secured the best spots and these are the lucky ones drawn in order from 1 to 6
2. Gabrials Star
3. Gabrials King
5. Angel Gabrial
You might be forgiven that owner Dr Marwan Koukash did the draw himself at his beloved Chester with 3 of his ‘Gabrial’ horses in the box seats.
However to make best use of this inside draw you really need a horse that can sit prominently and his two main chances – Gabrials King and Angel Gabrial appear to be horses who need to be held up and need some luck in running. I wonder if they could just throw away their advantage
Just look at last year’s run of Angel Gabrial to see how the best horse in the race can get beat – alas video link not available to witness his last to first ‘around the field’ drive only to get run down in the final furlong . I don’t think Jamie Spencer could have done much else with the position he had but he may find himself trapped again and is carrying a massive 15lbs more in this race than he did then.
Dr Koukash also has last years victor Suegioo lining up again but whereas that had an ideal draw 4 last year he is out in the car park at 16 this time round.
Looking through the whole field there are an awful lot of runners who like to come from behind and there could be traffic problems for many.
The race looks set up for something to control the pace from up front and stay out of trouble and I think there are two ideal candidates.
Shu Lewis is unproven over this trip but runs like it shouldn’t be a problem. She’s consistent and has run well enough against better animals to make me think here 100 rating is perfectly fair. At 9 she may look a veteran age but it should be remembered that she only began racing at 5.
Buthelezi has always had plenty of talent having passed through the hands of John Gosden and John Ferguson prior to joining the canny Brian Ellison. He seems to have found some consistency with his new yard. Although up to a rating of 94 after his latest win he was as high as 105 in his younger days
This horse really doesn’t mind being up front and I don’t think they will have to go that strong too early to make full use of this advantage on him.
There is rain forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday but neither selection should mind a bit of give underfoot. It’s only when there is a deluge and the ground becomes really soft that the inside berth advantage starts to be negated – and moreso later in the week as the course is more used
*Tuesday Update – 9mm of rain reported in Chester today and ground now Good to Soft – there could be more tomorrow*
Trip to Paris (drawn 11) was the one I was looking at most before the draw. With not too many pacesetters drawn inside I still wouldn’t totally rule him out. However all his form is on quicker ground and the forecast rain is a bit of a concern there.
Likely favourite Quick Jack will need to have all the breaks being a confirmed hold up horse from stall 9. I would have thought that other long distance handicaps would play more to his strengths this season. He’s bound to travel well but will have a lot of competition to get the gaps at the right time
All firms are currently ¼ odds 1234 – prices are here http://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/2015-05-06-chester/15:10/winner
There may be some who offer an extra place on the day but I feel that the low drawn will be backed before then
Some early recommendations for the race:
1 pt ew Buthelezi @16/1 (general)
1pt ew Shu Lewis 20/1 (Betfred, SportingBet)
Prices correct at 1530 BST Mon 5th May
Thanks for reading – comments always welcome
Both picks were well backed by the time of the race (17/2 and 11/1 at the off) but while Buthelezi had the earluy postion I had hoped for, neither were ultimately good enough on the day. Rather annoyingly it was Trip to Paris who was a good winner – if the ground had been a little better he might well have been a recommendation!
So the running balance is now 52.53pts from the initial bank of 50pts