12/1 Chester Cup Fancy: Ante-post analysis

Irish Champions Stakes

So, about last week. A story of hard luck.

The best bet of the week, GET AHEAD, probably saw his best chances diminish when the lashing of rain came down though his sixth behind the runaway winner Vadream was still good and the handicapper has dropped him two pounds for the run. One to watch on better ground.

And with LITTLE BIG BEAR, the Guineas experiment, plus the fact he was struck into and found to be lame post-race, saw his chances of a Classic disappear as well. A shame, but that is horse racing.

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Despite that, we kick on into the Chester May Festival that is on ITV this week, and alongside Lingfield Derby and Oaks Trials on Saturday, this week is one to be excited by.


No Bluff with his chances

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I’m starting with the Chester Cup this week and although it may not be an ante-post play by the time this goes up, it still warrants me putting him up as CALL MY BLUFF at 12/1 is top of my shortlist.

For starters, he is a proven horse around Chester thanks to his second in the Watergate Cup behind Emiyn last September on good to soft ground and his win at Chester in June 2021 also builds on the idea that he can handle the course well.

That form on Good to Soft from September is also useful information as it is set to be slow ground throughout the meeting thanks to the rain expected on Thursday and Friday.

Furthermore, his run last time out behind a Novel Legend, the ante-post favourite for the race who has missed out on a run by one place, reads well as the winner was race-fit coming into the contest while the six-year-old was coming off a 195-day break.

His trainer, Dominic Ffrench Davis, has a 25% strike rate currently and John Egan, his rider when second at Chester three starts ago, is booked to do the steering.

Taking that all in, 16/1 is a fair price.


Sweet as a Rose

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I have just the two horses to highlight this week and I’m going to Lingfield for the Oaks Trial on Saturday for my final fancy as SEA OF ROSES at 5/1 holds lots of interest.

The field is full of unknowns and this Sea The Moon three-year-old is one of them having finished a good second behind the exciting Pensee Du Jour at the start of April in the Group 3 Prix Penelope.

That run was very encouraging over 1m2f and she was running well to the wire on soft ground, hopefully meaning the 1m3f on Saturday in worsening conditions should be fine.

Furthermore, she beat Infinite Cosmos at the backend of last season at Doncaster over a mile, form that looks very good after the Sir Michael Stoute three-year-old bolted up at Newmarket on her next start and is now the 7/1 second favourite.

The Andrew Balding team like this three-year-old, who is very closely related to Chris Waller’s Group 3 winner Desert Icon, and with the in-form Oisin Murphy set to get the leg-up, SEA OF ROSES is a good play at 5/1.

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