Day 1 may have been a frustrating affair for us, but today was a lot more like it. Parish Boy got us off to a poor start and after that I feared the worst. However, Deauville soon got us our first winner on the board under a well judged ride from Ryan Moore. Masham Star was well backed and ran accordingly, finding one too good but rewarding each way support.
|Ice Slice looks overpriced in the opener
Tamleek could only manage a 4th place finish but I think he is better than that. He didn’t enjoy the clearest of runs and he still looked a touch green under pressure. Zamjar was given an inspired ride by Atzeni after he had to sit and suffer after missing the break. He produced him at the perfect time down the outside and he prevailed narrowly in a thrilling finish. Storm King finished off the day with a superb win in the lucky last, and hopefully we are in for more of the same on Day 3.
This 7.5f handicap looks a competitive contest, and as ever at Chester it makes sense to concentrate on those that are drawn low. The one we like at a nice price from stall 4 is Ice Slice for James Eustace and Ryan Tate, and he could take a big step forward with his seasonal reappearance behind him. This 6yo son of Dark Angel made hay last season, and he has the ability to make his presence felt off a mark of 95.
He won a total of 5 races last season, including over course and distance, and he is likely to have been trained with this race in mind. He also won second time up last season, so his poor run last time isn’t a big worry. He is a pound lower than when a very good second behind Highland Colori at York on his final run of last season, so he is not handicapped out of this. He can be backed at 14/1 and he is the each way suggestion.
STEVOS SELECTION: ICE SLICE E/W @ 14/1 (skybet) NAP
I fancy Bay Of Poets e/w for this one and you can find out why at Mybettingbonus
Once again, the draw will be pivotal for this 5f sprint, and from stall 2 we think Megan Lily could have an each way squeak for Paul Hanagan and Richard Fahey. This 3yo daughter of Dragon Pulse has won just once from eleven career starts, but she has been running mostly in Listed company and she should strip a lot fitter from her comeback run in a handicap at Thirsk.
She could only manage 5th in that 5f contest last month off a mark of 88 and the handicapper has generously dropped her a couple of pounds to 86. She has course form in the book, finishing 2nd in a nursery here off 77 last September (5.5f gd/sft). Her sole win came on the all weather at Chelmsford, but her best run came on good ground in a listed contest in Chantilly. Trip and ground will suit, she has a great draw and she could bounce back to form at odds of 14/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: MEGAN LILY E/W @ 14/1 NB
I fancy Western Hymn for this Group 3 and you can read why at Mybettingbonus
With only 7 runners going to post I will be just watching this maiden.
Storm King continued the superb run of form for David Griffiths on Day 2, and he could be set for another good showing from trusty old sprinter Duke Of Firenze in this class 3 conditions contest. This 8yo son of Pivotal has been one of the flagbearers for this relatively small stable since arriving from Robert Cowell, and he should come on leaps and bounds for his seasonal reappearance in a hot handicap at Newbury last month.
His only previous run at Chester saw him finish last of 8, but he was drawn widest of all that day and that is never ideal around here. Duke Of Firenze is drawn much better this time in stall 4, and he will enjoy the good ground. His official rating of 103 puts him right in the mix and he is versatile tactically. He can’t afford to be slowly away like he was last time, but if he breaks on terms he could be dangerous and he is the selection at odds of 7/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION-DUKE OF FIRENZE E/W @ 7/1
Pat Shanahan went close for us earlier this week with Taexali, and he looks to have a good chance here with Warp Factor, who has landed the dream draw in stall 1.This 4yo son of The Carbon Unit has won just once from 18 starts, a 10f maiden at Ripon, but he has placed form at today’s trip of 12f and he ran well behind Euchen Glen at Ayr earlier this week (10f).
He also went close at Limerick over 8f on his previous start, beaten less than 2L off today’s mark of 78. Cliff Lee takes off a handy 3lb which should be a big help, and with trip, ground and draw ideal he is capable of going close at odds of 5/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: WARP FACTOR @ 5/1