One of the long-distance highlights of the flat-season is upon us already – and the Chester Cup brings with it its own set of nuances.
Chester’s short, tight, almost constantly turning track means that the 18-furlong race takes over two circuits to complete, and if you get stuck 3 or 4 horses wide it’s unlikley you’re going to win as you’ll be covering much more ground than those on the inside. However, over the marathon trip, hold-up horses do have the chance to drop in behind the pace-setters and come with a late run.
6-year-olds have won 4 of the last 10 runnings, 5-year-olds 3, 7-year-olds 1, and 4 year-olds 1. Meanwhile, 9 of those 10 winners have carried between 8-11 and 9-6, with the other winner carrying just 8-1.
Trainer Richard Fahey has won it twice in the last decade, and the ground should be good to soft unless Chester gets more rain than is forecast overnight.
17 runners are set to go to post – and here’s our analysis and tip.
A top-weight hasn’t been successful in the last decade and he’s 18lb higher than when 2nd in last year’s renewal.
Jockey William Buick said he wouldn’t stay further when he won on him over 14-furlongs in Meydan.
At 9-years-old he’s older than any winner in the last decade and doesn’t look well-handicapped.
Won last year’s race off an 8lb lower mark but is drawn 16 of 17 this time.
Duke of Clarence
Only 7th last year and no obvious reason why he should better that in what looks a slightly better renewal.
The unknown quantity for 2008 winning trainer Ian Williams and has Fallon booked to ride. An ex Andre Fabre inmate.
Has been running well on the All Weather but drawn widest of all. Won on soft though and has Adam Kirby booked.
Won the all-weather stayers championship but may get outstayed.
Edge of Sanity
Ex Jim Bolger horse who has won over 2-miles on good to soft. Drawn wide though.
Third in the 2014 Cesarawitch and the 2015 County Hurdle. Handles good to soft and tends to travel well. Richard Hughes booked and reasonably drawn in stall 9 – favourites chance.
Dual purpose horse who was once rated 100 on the flat. Yet to convince he wants this trip though.
4th last year off the same mark but this looks a better renewal.
Likes soft ground and ridden by stable jockey. Well drawn in stall 2, and a 6-year-old.
Not proven over the trip, but is bred to improve for it, and reasonably drawn in stall 7 for Dermot Weld.
8lb higher than last winning mark.
The booking of ace Chester Pilot suggest this has been a big target for a horse that is well-in after an eye catching run last time; his debut for the Fahey stable.
Trip To Paris
Looked to take a massive leap forward on his first run over two-miles when he finished in front of Gabriel’s King.
It’s really hard to dismiss the chances of likely favourite Quick Jack, and it’s only in the search for value that I’ve begrudgingly passed him over. Much more my sort of price is Trip To Paris who looks completely unexposed over staying trips – and he’s a sporting each-way alternative.