Four To Follow: Chester Cup Day

A tricky day, with selections hitting the bar. But Point Lonsdale managed to salvage something from the day. Today, it’s Chester’s big day with the Chester Cup taking centre stage. Some names may be familiar from the jumps who make their way over for one of the longest races of the flat season. Plus a good undercard to make a Friday Four To Follow.


Dreaming Of Wins

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1:30 – CAA Stellar Earl Of Grosvenor Handicap – Liamarty Dreams @ 9/2 (William Hill)

Liamarty Dreams is looking to make it a hat-trick in this race. He won at Doncaster at the Lincoln meeting, then at Musselburgh after been raised four pounds. It’s the same amount today and looks to be on the big improve this season. Stall two over the seven-and-a-half furlongs makes him all the more appealing for a yard in decent form.

Revich won this race last year and has a great record on the Roodee. Four wins at the track makes him one of the specialists in the field. He’s back to a mark of 95, a winning mark up at Ayr last season. Plus, a middle draw isn’t the worst thing in the world and can bounce back to form after two lacklustre season openers. 10/1 (BetVictor, Boylesports).

Island Native is a debutant at Chester, but he should be able to handle the tight turns with wins on the all-weather, including Lingfield. He showed a good performance on turf at Brighton last time out. But he’s climbing up three classes for this race, which is a nagging doubt. But the king of Chester, Franny Norton, will be able to guide him round his favourite track. Worth something at 12/1 (General).


May Flowers

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2:35 – Free Bet Friday Handicap – Botanical @ 7/2 (William Hill)

Already the form for Botanical has been given an almighty boost. Mr Porfessor went and won the Lincoln this year, but was beat by Botanical by six lengths on his last start of the season. Given that Silvestre De Sousa and Roger Varian are a red hot classic winning combination, it would make sense to go with what seems to be the second Al Maktoum runner in the race.


It’s Rar Rar

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3:05 – Huxley Stakes (Group Two) – Israr @ 11/4 (General)

You can’t argue when you have good ground and the highest rated horse in a race. Israr ticks all the boxes, and comes off the back of a close third at Sandown last time out. He beat former Derby winner Adayar last year at this level at the Newmarket July Festival and has had a decent winter over in the Middle East as well. At the price, it makes sense.


A Ztuck Cup

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3:40 – Chester Cup (Heritage Handicap) – Zoffee @ 15/2 (BetVictor, Boylesports)

After one appearance in the Chester Cup, Zoffee seemed to be at home with the Roodee. He didn’t act for the rest of the season and comes back here three pounds lower than last season. At a track he seems to like and on a lower mark, plus a tendency to act at this time out the year, Zoffee is my main pick for the Chester Cup.

Another course specialist who should handle the Cup well is Solent Gateway. He’s raced a few times and only won once, but experience counts round here. He last raced in the Cup off a mark of 90 and is two pounds higher today. Saffie Osborne is in the saddle which is always a big plus, given that she’s operating at a 22% strike rate. An added bonus of being a pound well in the handicap makes 14/1 (General) quite attractive.

Too Friendly has a shot at a big price. Trainer James Owen says that the track should suit him and acts more in the Summer than he does in the Winter over jumps. He won on the all-weather in March and is only up four pounds for the run, which sees him at one of the lower weights in the field. Small stakes at 20/1 (BetVictor, Boylesports).

The very best of luck!

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