Wednesday, 10th May 2017
When the May meeting at Chester comes around, we know we’re starting to get into the real meat of the flat season.
There’s form in the book, the various yards have shown something of their respective hands and there is much less guesswork involved than was the case earlier in the season – and much less to be taken on trust.
Our interest on day 1 is the Chester Cup Handicap (3.35) – a field of 17-runners goes to post on ground currently described as good. They go over the 2-mile and 3-fulong trip around 8 bends of the tight Chester track….
In these big handicaps, I ordinarily like to back one horse each-way or go two-against-the-field – backing both selections to win. But where this race is concerned – given the prices – I’m mixing it up a bit
With Franny Norton booked for the ride, Watersmeet – priced up at 10s – looks to be Mark Johnston’s primary hope.
But I never take first- and second-string issues too seriously and the fact that Richard Kingscote – another specialist on the Chester track and a big advantage to a horse in a handicap race – has been booked for the ride on YORKIDDING is encouragement enough to back the horse at a big general 16s. I’m backing this one to win.
Out on seasonal debut just 11 days ago the 5yo produced a decent effort at Ripon to finish 3rd – beaten just over 2 lengths – over the 2-mile trip. A serious trip suits this son of Dalakhani and he can come on again for that reappearance.
He has some form at Chester – so we know the track suits. And a mark of 96 is good enough. The horse last won off 93 at Newmarket – but I reckon the trip can produce the improvement required to figure off a 3lb higher mark. He’s drawn 3 and represents a solid bet.
The other one I want to back is Donald McCain’s GOOD TRADITION at a massive general 50s. I’m backing this one each-way.
McCain has such a good record in this race – 2 wins and a place from 8 runners – that I can’t resist having a few quid on the 6yo.
Yes, I know McCain isn’t quite where he was when those wins and places were achieved. Yes, I know he’s on the rebuild. But I also know that whilst he’s lost horses, he’s retained his touch.
This race is one he likes to target and I don’t imagine he’s turning one out to make up the numbers. He inherited the horse from Dermot Weld’s yard and he’s had him long enough to learn a little and to find out what’s what – and this will be his first run for McCain on the flat.
He turns out on the back of a run over hurdles where he stayed on at the end and he should come on from that. He was rated as high as 104 on the flat in Ireland and he runs off 93 tomorrow.
He’s not seen much genuine good ground – but two of the three times he has, he’s produced decent performances. He could be well-handicapped on just such a surface tomorrow. And he’s a massive price given all that.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going this afternoon….
In the Chester Cup Handicap (3.35 @ Chester)....
That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.
That’s all from me for today.
I’m not sure yet what we’ll be doing tomorrow. But expect me in your inbox in the morning with either bets at Chester or analysis that will produce winners down the line.
Until then. Stay tuned.