The Chester Cup (Friday 10 April @ 15:35) is a handicap race run over 2 miles 2 furlongs and 140 yards at Chester. The race was first run in 1824 and notable winners have included Trip To Paris that won the Ascot Gold Cup in the same season in 2015, whilst the 2018 winner Magic Circle went on to win the Group 3 Henry II Stakes on his next start.
Read our analysis, runner-by-runner guide, and free tips for the 2019 Chester Cup.
Chester Cup 10-Year-Trends
All of the last 10 winners of the Chester Cup were aged between four and eight, with six-year-olds winning five of the last 10 editions. All 10 winners were also rated between 93 and 101, whilst the ceiling of that slim ratings band had been just 99 until Magic Circle won off 101 last year. Winners have also carried between 8-9 and 9-6 to victory.
Eight out of 10 winners were drawn in between stalls one and six, with the other two winners in the last decade coming out of stalls 11 and 16. Only one winner had won their previous race, whilst six winners had enjoyed a prep race and four were making their seasonal debut.
Favourites don’t have a great record but there have been no massive shocks with seven of the 10 winners returned at no bigger than 10/1, whilst the other three were only 11/1, 12/1, and 16/1.
Chester Cup Runner-By-Runner Guide 2019
Ran a cracking race to finish fifth in the 2017 edition from stall-18 off a mark of 98 and confirmed that impression when winning by six-lengths off 101 from stall-six last year. He then won a Group 3 next time, which earned him a mark of 116. That means he’s rated 15lb higher than last year and, though his useful claiming jockey takes 7lb off, he still has 8lb more than last year and is drawn slightly wider in stall-eight.
Improving six-year-old that won the Cesarewitch off 97 last year. Rated 106 now and, though Ryan Moore is booked, he’s drawn widest of all in stall-17.
Improving four-year-old that was an impressive winner on his seasonal debut and that has earned him favouritism with most bookies. He’s drawn to run a big race in stall-five, from where he should be able to track the early pace, but he’s still rated higher than any of the last 10 winners.
Won the 2017 renewal off a 4lb lower mark from stall 3. Not in such good form since then and has a wider draw in stall-11 this year. However, Graham Lee is an interesting booking, having won the 2015 edition aboard Trip To Paris.
Run really well to be placed at the last two Cheltenham Festivals over hurdles but not been as good on the flat off this sort of mark. Not too badly drawn though and Andrea Atzeni is a positive looking booking.
3lb better off with Low Sun for around a 1½ length beating in the Cesarewitch and is much better drawn than that rival in stall-1. However, he may not have the tactical early pace to take advantage of that low draw.
Who Dares Wins
Consistent type on the flat and over hurdles and has been placed in the last two renewals of this race. Same mark as last year when third from stall-15 and drawn slightly better in stall-12 this year.
Cliffs Of Dooneen
Nicely drawn in stall-2 but hard to weight up. She won her first two starts in Ireland but has not troubled the judge on her last three starts, including on first run for her new trainer three weeks ago.
Tough-looking draw in stall-16 but is interesting on one piece of form from last year when he beat stablemate Austrian School by 3-length in receipt of just 1lb. Gets 4lb from that re-opposing rival here.
Capable sort over hurdles and on the flat and gets a fair pull at the weight with Low Sun and Cleonte after finishing sixth in the Cesarewitch. Has a fair draw in stall-six but tends to be held up for a late run, tactics which are difficult to pull off.
Owned by the same connections as Magic Circle and is interesting stepping up to this trip for the first time having stayed on late to win over 14-furlongs last year. However, he’s not raced for 357 days and there’s a danger he may need the run after nearly a year off.
Time To Study
Like Magic Circle and Shabeeb, he’s also trained by Ian Williams, for whom he’s having his second run. Potentially well-handicapped on an 11lb lower mark than at his peak for Mark Johnston, which included a fifth in this race in 2017, but has a wide draw in stall 13.
Grand servant that has won plenty of races over two miles, but has failed to see out the longer trip of this race in two previous renewals.
Five runs this year is an unusual preparation and he looks the Johnston fourth string on jockey bookings.
Only tried stamina tests on the all-weather so far but could be suited by a return to turf. Tough draw in stall-15.
Probably past his best at the age of eight but the handicapper has given him a massive chance by dropping him to a mark of 93, considering he’s finished second and third in the last two editions off marks in the 100’s. Great looking draw in stall-four and he could run a massive race as he’s 16lb and 13lb better off with the two winners of those renewals.
Well-drawn in stall-three but looks outclassed on most form-lines.
Chester Cup Verdict 2019
The stats suggest that a draw in stalls 1-6 is a big advantage in most renewals and Fun Mac (stall four) wouldn’t be winning this race out of turn after being second and third in the last two editions. He’s also much better off at the weights with the last two winners, so looks to have a solid each-way chance.