We’ve Punchestown done. The Guineas done. Now it’s time to turn our attention to Chester’s staying handicap and Classic trials.
It felt good to tip up Sole Power at the weekend – taking money off Paddy from his own horse. So let’s go in for the kill on day one of Chester. You hear me Paddy?
Wednesday is all about the 2m 2f Chester Cup and as always at the Roodee the draw plays a huge part.
You can win if you’re boxed out wide, but it makes life very, very hard.
I won’t win any prizes for originality here but I just can’t have Ed Dunlop’s favourite MUBARAZA (2.45) being out of the frame and make him a serious selection.
He is gearing up for a big win, finishing fourth in the Ascot Stakes, third in the Northumberland Plate and second on his return at Ripon. He has a better draw here than the horse that beat him a neck that day, Angel Gabrial. So get on.
Roudee would normally be a strong fancy as he runs in the race his stable sponsors but he and Mukhmal are badly drawn. I’ll go for CHEERIO SWEETIE (1.45). Even though Mukhmal beat him last time the latter is much better in at the weights and is drawn well in stall 1.
Luck of the draw
In the Cheshire Oaks I like the chances of John Gosden’s BRIGHT APPROACH (2.15). She has a bit to find on ratings with Irish challenger Terrific from the Aidan O’Brien stable but is open to improvement and bred to stay. She made a fine debut success at Newbury earlier this month.
Finally, in the 5f handicap have a little on SIR MAXIMILIAN (3.15) who has run twice at Chester last summer and went well (5th and 2nd). A mark of 88 is workable for him while a stall 4 draw can only help. If he’s fit after his lay-off he’s got a right chance.
So enjoy the start of Chester 2014. I’ll be back at the weekend to have another pop at the Paddy. Yeeehaaa!