I was bitterly disappointed with Malt Teaser’s tame effort at Goodwood at the weekend. He was reined back at the start from his good draw and as the race hotted up he was well out of touch. He made up ground into midfield and looked like he might have a say, but when the leaders accelerated 2f out he was left behind. I still believe he has races in him, and he is one to watch if returned to the all weather at Lingfield.
One of my favourite meetings of the year gets under way tomorrow, and after visiting for the first time last year I would highly recommend a trip to Chester for anyone. The facilities are top class and though it can be hard to find winners it is a brilliant day out. I had very little luck there last year, but hopefully we can get off to a flier in the Lily Agnes.
|Jim Goldie is in flying form.
Gay Kelleway’s colt made a very promising debut in the Brocklesby when 3rd behind Requinto Dawn, and that horse is near the head of the betting for this contest. The going was good to soft that day, and there is every chance that suited Requinto Dawn better than Black Orange. The Fahey horse was beaten by a debutant on good to firm next time up, and the 3rd home in that race was beaten in a class 6 net time.
Black Orange improved again when 2nd to dual winner Corinthia Knight on the all weather at Lingfield, and that form was boosted at the weekend in a class 2 race at Ascot where Corinthia Knight was 2nd behind Frozen Angel. Last time out he bounced out quickly from stall 7 at Ripon, grabbed the rail and won with a bit in hand after making all. He battled on well when the fav joined him in the final furlong, and he won going away at the finish. His time was good, he has a decent draw in stall 4 and at odds of 20/1 he looks well overpriced.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: BLACK ORANGE E/W @ 20/1
Aidan O’Brien has his string in stupendous form, as he demonstrated at Newmarket at the weekend, and he has a fascinating contender for this race in Alluringly. This daughter of Fastnet Rock didn’t show much on two easy ground 2yo starts, but this beautifully bred filly looked a different proposition when tackling good ground for the first time at Tipperary (9f gd).
As expected with any horse from the O’Brien stable she has a pedigree to die for, and her dam is a half sister to a former winner of this race, Wonder Of Wonders. The form of her maiden win has yet to be tested, and she is up against some fillies that showed smart 2yo form. However, Alluringly was always likely to improve from 2 to 3 and it will be a big surprise if she isn’t up to taking this. Enable could be the danger, but Alluringly will be hard to beat from a good draw in stall 2.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: ALLURINGLY WIN @ 13/8 NAP
12 go to post for this 5f class 2 handicap and as ever at Chester, the draw is key. John Quinn’s speedster El Astronaute has been handed the plum draw in stall 1, and that should suit this prominent racer who beat a next time out winner off just 2lb lower in a class 3 contest at Newmarket last time. He won here as a 2yo back in 2015 on good to soft, and it was good to firm last time so conditions won’t worry him.
However, he is only 4/1, and at three times that price we think Taexali could be worth chancing e/w for Pat Shanahan and Sam Hitchcott. This 4yo has been highly tried at times during his 20 race career, and he has won just once when beating none other than Jet Setting at Brighton as a 2yo. He has been placed at Listed level, he wasn’t beaten far off 95 in a handicap at Meydan in February and he could outrun his odds from a good draw in stall 2.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: TAEXALI E/W @ 14/1
It is usually pretty hard to be ultra confident about any horse in a race of this nature, but I think Sir Chauvelin has a massive chance for on fire Scottish raider Jim Goldie. This 5yo son of Authorized has been very consistent during his 26 race career, winning 5 races and placing on a further 10 occasions. One of those placed efforts came here last May off a mark of 90, and he was doing all his best work at the finish in that 13.5f contest, grabbing 3rd.
He was giving 2lb to Yorkidding that day and he was a nose behind in 4th off 88. Sir Chauvelin is 2lb higher now off 92, but Yorkidding is rated 96 so Sir Chauvelin is 6lb better off with that rival so he should confirm the form. Jim Goldie’s charge has had a couple of runs to put him right for a crack at this, and he ran a cracking race at Ripon last time (16f gd). He looks well worth a crack at tomorrow’s trip of 18.5f, and with luck in running he is capable of running a big one at odds of 20/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: SIR CHAUVELIN E/W @ 20/1 NB
Teodoro looks the one here for Chester specialists Franny Norton and Tom Dascombe. This gelded son of Teofilo creeps in at the foot of the handicap and he has been drawn on the inner in stall 1. He built on the minor promise he showed in his three maiden runs upped to 9f (gd/fm) at Redcar last time, needing every inch of the trip to prevail in a tight finish by a head.
He has been hiked up to a mark of 75 for that narrow victory, 6lb higher than the rating off which he won last time. However, the further step up in trip looks sure to elicit more improvement judging by how powerfully he stayed on over shorter last time. Dascombe and Norton love having winners at Chester, and in Teodoro they look to have an outstanding chance of landing another one.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: TEODORO @ 6/1
No strong fancy for this maiden. One to watch with an eye to the future.
Perhaps Dark Defender can bounce back to form off a reduced mark for Keith Dalgleish with Jim Crowley back on board. This 4yo son of Pastoral Pursuits isn’t one to have the mortgage on as consistency isn’t his strong suit. He has been well beaten in two runs this year since being gelded, but he has dropped to a mark of 84 now, a pound below his last winning rating.
The booking of Crowley looks significant too, as he was on board for Dark Defender’s last win at York. He has had 18 rides for Dalgleish in total, winning on three and finishing in the first four on a further five occasions. Dark Defender was beaten just over a length off a pound higher on his only previous visit to Chester, and from a good draw in stall 3 he looks worth chancing e/w at 14/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: DARK DEFENDER E/W @ 14/1