Chester Cup Day Betting Tips – Friday 11th May 2018

One of the most appealing aspects of British racing is the sheer variety of the fare on offer. Chief amongst the variables are the tracks themselves, and the British courses don’t come much more unique than Chester. Called amongst other things, a frying pan, a saucer and a doughnut, Chester offers a challenge unlike most others in world racing. Yes the Roodee track is round, very round, and provides a test of running at pace whilst almost constantly on the turn which really is quite unlike any other.

The highlight of Chester’s racing year comes with this week’s three day May meeting, culminating with this card on the Friday, spearheaded by the track’s most famous race, the Chester Cup itself. With the Group 2 Huxley Stakes in support alongside more top handicapping action, here we run through each of the day’s seven contests. Can we close out the meeting with a few tidy winners and a handsome profit?

1.50 – Crabbie’s Earl Grosvenor Handicap (Class 2), 7½f

Sound Advice each way at 8/1 with Coral

8 of the past 10 winners, and 22 of the 30 top three finishers in the past 10 years here have been either four or five years of age. At eight and six years of age the past two winners have, however, very much bucked this trend. And, with the younger performers all drawn pretty high this time around, we favour the elder statesmen of the field to cause an upset again this year.

There are a few interesting ones in here, with Above The Rest one of those expected to go well. The one to carry our cash here though is last year’s winner, Sound Advice. He may be nine years old now, but is nicely berthed in stall 2 and gets off the same mark of 98 from which he proved successful last year.

2.25 – Homeserve Huxley Stakes (Group 2), 1m2½f

Eminent to win at 5/6 with Ladbrokes

The big yards have done well in this in recent years, with six of the past 10 renewals of this Group 2 contest being won by John Gosden, Sir Michael Stoute or Aidan O’Brien. The real man to follow though has been jockey, Ryan Moore, who has recorded five wins in the race in the past nine years. Moore gets the leg-up on O’Brien’s War Decree this year, but he may well have work to do to lower the colours of the favourite.

Ideally drawn in stall 1, Eminent should be able to get to the front here with Frankuus seeming the only real competition for the lead, and that one will need to tack across from box 6. We expect the Martyn Meade runner to grab the rail and prove very tough to pass. The winner of the 2017 Craven Stakes and only beaten 1¾l in last year’s Derby, he boasts the best form in this line-up and - if fit and well on what will be his first run since September – should win with relative ease.

3.00 – Boodles Diamond Handicap (Class 2), 1m2½f

Pivoine each way at 7/1 with Betfair

Not a good race for those towards the top of the weights this one, with each of the past 10 winners being saddled with 9st1lb or less on the day. Youth has also been favoured here, with eight of the past 10 winners being five years of age or younger.

One who fits the bill is the Andrew Balding runner, Pivoine. This one finished last season in a rich vein of form, winning his final two starts of the campaign. He has since made the switch from the yard of Sir Michael Stoute to that of Balding and appeared in need of the run on his comeback at Newbury last time, travelling well for the bulk of the contest before tiring close home. With that run under his belt he is taken to resume his progression here and at very tasty odds too.

3.35 – 188Bet Chester Cup Handicap (Class 2), 2m2½f

Magic Circle each way at 6/1 with Bet365

You might think that the draw advantage wouldn’t be so great over this marathon trip. However the recent stats would suggest that a low berth here is as advantageous as in just about any other race at the track. Despite a maximum field of 17 invariably going to post, seven of the past 10 winners have been drawn in stall five or below.

There’s nothing Dr Marwan Koukash likes more than a winner at his beloved Chester, and the owner is fancied to strike in the week’s showpiece contest with the Ian Williams-trained Magic Circle. Fifth in the race last year when drawn out in the car park, he is much better berthed in stall six this time, which can more than offset his 3lb higher mark. He’s fancied to at least make the frame and is the one for us here.

4.05 – LDF Conditions Stakes (Class 3), 5f

Kachy to win 

Take Tom Dascombe to land this sprint contest with the speedy, Kachy. Campaigned at the very top level in the past, this one arrives fit and well on the back of a fine all-weather campaign, is a perfect two from two at the track, and is fancied to cope with his 6lb Listed winning penalty. Stall eight isn’t ideal but there doesn’t seem to be bundles of early pace inside and he should be able to grab a decent enough position. Sir Maximilian is feared most given his liking for the track, but is nine years old now and hasn’t really shown quite enough lately to merit an interest.

4.40 – YCO Apprentice Handicap (Class 4), 1m4½f

Gabrial’s King each way 

The traditional Chester draw bias doesn’t seem to have applied in this race to date, with three of the four winners being drawn in stall nine or higher. One possible explanation for this is that the relatively inexperienced jockeys perhaps haven’t been able to fully exploit any draw advantage.

Connor Murtagh’s 17% strike rate at the venue is solid in the context of this race and he is fancied to at least go close to improving on that aboard the Richard Fahey runner, Gabrial’s King. This one has plenty of experience around here having finished in the first three in eight of his 16 career starts at the track. First time out may also be the time to catch him. He scored off 86 on his first start last year and gets in off a mark of just 77 here.

5.15 – 188Bet Chester Plate Handicap (Class 2), 2m2½f

American Gigolo each way 

The day concludes with a consolation race for those who didn’t quite make the cut for the Chester Cup itself. Being run over the same course and distance and under the same conditions, it makes sense that the same trends will apply here as for the big one earlier on the card. As such we will again be sticking to the low drawn unexposed runners when seeking the winner.

The one we like is Harry Fry’s, American Gigolo. This one’s all-weather success over Stargazer – who is currently vying for favouritism in the Chester Cup itself – reads well in the context of this race, and whilst he did flop last time out at Musselburgh, we are happy to excuse him that due to the bottomless ground. With conditions more in his favour here, he is fancied to go well from stall 4 and land us one last winner for the meeting.