The contrarian word on the Chester Cup....

Last Updated: 10.05.2018

Thursday, 10th May 2018

The contrarian word on the Chester Cup….

The habitual big-field goes to post for tomorrow afternoon’s Chester Cup (3.35) – run over 2m2f around Chester’s tight turns....

As tests of stamina go, the configuration of the Chester track makes this one something close to unique. The place is almost circular, and they are turning all the way around....

Sharp-actioned horses are most suited to its specific tests and challenges and specialists can thrive at Chester....

There’s plenty to like about horses at prices when they’ve been to the track before and produced a performance that suggests they like the place....

  • Returning for a second crack....

FUN MAC went and did a job at a big price last year....

He was third off a mark of 102 on his seasonal debut – and he did it out of a wide stall. Jim Crowley rode a cracker to get him into the race. He was only beaten a length at the death.

He goes again on seasonal debut this time around and off a one-pound lower mark of 101 – but this time drawn more handily in stall 5.

Oisin Murphy is in the plate this time. But I’m not concerned about that. The young rider is in good form – steering double-figure winners home over the last fortnight....

Nor am I concerned that the horse went badly off the boil at the tail end of last season....

He produced something very close to a career-best performance on my figures first-time up last term and I imagine connections have had a second crack at the race on the agenda for him ever since.

He could go very nicely at the general 16s....

  • Two-against-the-field....

I generally prefer to go two-against-the-field rather than play for place money – and that’s how I’ll be playing this race tomorrow....

Mark Johnston has gone close multiple times in this race over the last 15-years without managing to win it. His 14 runners over the period have produced half a dozen placed finishes between them....

I think he could well break this sequence tomorrow with TIME TO STUDY and I’m going to take the general 9s about him – you can get 10s with bet365 as I write....

He’s another with a reasonable draw – he runs out of stall 7 – and he’s nothing if not fit and raring to go having produced two promising efforts already this term....

He was a little unlucky not to win at Musselburgh on seasonal debut and he produced a solid effort when stepped up to Group level next time out at Ascot....

At 108 he’s plenty high enough in the weights for a handicapper. But he’s earned that mark on the back of his talent and tomorrow he runs off 105 – so he’s well in to the tune of 3lbs and every little is of some small assistance....

He’s got a good man onboard in Franny Norton who knows Chester well and has ridden plenty of handicap winners at the place.

Mark Johnston thinks this lad could be an out-and-out Group horses later this season. At handicap level in a race that suits, he can make that quality pay dividends. The price is okay.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the Chester Cup (3.35 @ Chester).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – FUN MAC (16s generally) & TIME TO STUDY (10s @ bet365 & 9s generally)

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.

Get the latest odds here >>

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

Win, lose or draw – enjoy the racing....

I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon – targeting the best of the prices across the weekend action....

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd