Chester 1.50 – Gossiping 11/2
A race full of inconsistent and chancy propositions… Gossiping might be the least worst option, for all you would like to see the stable in better form. His run in a better race than this at Newmarket last time was both respectable at face value and promising that there might be more to come. He is quite well drawn, and there’s no better man than Shane Kelly on a horse who needs riding for a bit of luck.
2.25 – Eminent 4/6
He’s a very short price, but it will be pretty disappointing if this very talented horse doesn’t take this seasonal debut en route to bigger and better things. Although he’s rated only a couple of pounds superior to his two main rivals, he has significant scope for further improvement this year and has reportedly worked well in the build up to this. If you’re keen to take him on, War Decree (6/1) is in a more realistic race than he’s been in lately and can still be a decent horse when it all clicks for him again.
3.00 – Restorer 7/1
A pretty solid week for owner Marwan Koukash can continue here with Restorer. Formerly with William Muir, he is now in the care of Ian Williams. Looking at the balance of his career, this distance/ground combination seems to suit best and he has been cut some slack by the handicapper even though there was no evidence for a sharp decline in his ability last season. He’s nicely drawn and could go well – Titi Makfi (7/1) and Dark Red (11/2) are feared most against him.
3.35 – Grandee(11/1)/Nakeeta (20/1)
I’ll be backing two in the Chester Cup. Grandee is completely unexposed at this trip, but plenty of good stayers in his pedigree suggests he could improve for it. He had a progressive profile in any case, coming off the back of a solid prep run in a traditional stepping stone to this at Ripon. His trainer is gradually wheeling into a bit of form & he’s been looked on fairly kindly by the draw.
Nakeeta is not handicapped to win, but remains the class act here. With the jockey taking 3lbs off, that’s just enough for me to think he could still be involved. He ran a huge race two years ago from an unpromising position and last year’s race was a complete throw out.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.