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Chester Cup 2015

chester cup

Chester Cup
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
1.Shu Lewis
2. Gabrials Star
3. Gabrials King
4. Buthelezi
5. Angel Gabrial
6. Mymatechris
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
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


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Chester Cup day

As a special request for one particular racegoer tomorrow – an extra offering for day one of the Chester meeting – though after a fairly dismal display at the Guineas weekend (10pt loss on recommendations) anyone can be advised for steering well clear of selections below!
It’s hardly an earth shattering revelation on Chester’s tight turning course that a low draw is a big advantage – even in the longer races. If heavy rain does get involved this can be negated but at the moment the going is good


1.45 Lily Agnes Stakes
Two pacey David Evans trained 2yos should make hay from stall 1 and 2 here and I suspect that Cheerio Sweetie has the best form of them. She was beaten 1.5 lengths by Mukhmal last time in a decent looking affair. He is drawn way out wide now and is 9lb worse off so is going to have to prove himself a very smart 2yo to maintain his superiority. The low draw is built into Cheerio Sweetie’s price at around 3/1 but as long as she breaks as well as she has done in recent starts she looks the natural one to beat.

2.15 Cheshire Oaks
Aidan O’Brien has done well in this race in recent years and fields the fav here in Terrific. She doesnt stand out as a star of the stable yet and ran as if needing this trip last time – a word of caution though – her full sister Together showed all of her best form at a mile.
John Gosden won this race with Gertrude Bell after winning a division of the same Newbury maiden that Bright Approach won – it would be no susprise to see her build on that win where she looked quite green and follow up at this higher level.
But from a value angle I am drawn to Brown Diamond. Charles Hills’s father Barry used to farm this race in the past and his son looks to have a promising type here. There is a question mark on her stamina from her sire’s side but the dam comes from the Aga Khan’s stamina laden stock. She’s put up promising efforts on both starts behind others who have franked the form since and appeals at double figure odds here


2.45 Chester Cup
Two big things I look for here are proven stamina at 2 miles or more and previous form at the track – a decent draw is then an added bonus.
Normally form from previous running sof this race is important but it’s very odd to find none of that this year.
Communicator has the best course record for me but is a quirky type who hasn’t proved himself at this trip yet.
Angel Gabrial has shown form here and proved his stamina for 2 miles last time. He is probably the best fit for the criteria but is a hold up horse which could cause anxiety issues here (particulary with Jamie Spencer on board – who can overdo these tactics frequently). He is going to need some gaps to open for him at the right time I expect.
It’s not very exciting but I make the favourite Mubaraza a slightly safer proposition as he has a decent draw and can adapt to a more prominent position through the race. Having no course form is the one concern here but he seems a reliable sort at this level.
Mubaraza is therefore the marginal choice over Angel Gabrial (the two are closely matches on their last duel at Ripon) but I have backed both each way for the race

A draw of 7 isnt perfect but Ballista has strong form at this course and loads of early pace (has led Group 1 sprinters off the blocks before). There are several drawn low who haven’t quite mastered a speedy break in some of their races and he could take advantage of that early here.
10/1 is probably a price based on his draw but I find it attractive in the hope it isn’t as bad as others think ( he has won a handicap easily here before from stall 14 which is no mean feat!)


No fancies in the later races or me but Prince of Stars could be heard all over Newmarket before an encouraging debut last month. He can only improve after such babyishness but wouldn’t expect much of a price to emerge for him

2.15 Brown Diamond 0.5 pts win @11/1 (Hills, Betfair Sportsbook)
2.45 2pts ew Mubaraza 5/1 (general); 1pt ew Angel Gabrial 9/1 (Stan james)
3.15 1pt ew Ballista 10/1 (BetVictor, Skybet)


Thanks for reading


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Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Uncategorized



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