188BET Chester Cup Tips | 10th May 2017
Racing tipster Graeme Johnston takes a runner by runner look at this year’s 188BET Chester Cup.
188BET Chester Cup | 10th May 2017
The 188BET Chester Cup is the one of the biggest handicaps in Europe and the highlight of the midweek fixture. 19 runners line up for the feature event and we’ll take a look at them all here.
Ian Jardine’s steadily improving stayer was second in this race last year however he is burdened with top weight on Wednesday. He likes the track and this is his target and is a threat to all here.
A former winner of this race back in 2014 he has been unable to get his head in front since then. He’s been running in some top races but is higher in the weights now and is drawn terribly so looks up against it here.
3. Fun Mac
A largely inconsistent performer he is talented on his day and has a good record fresh so could run well at a price. Yet to fully prove himself as a stayer he is likely to find a few too good here.
A typical Mark Johnston sort he was kept really busy last year with varying degrees of success. He raced over the winter on the all weather and seems to have added some consistency to his game. Well drawn and with a running style that should suit the track he is high on the shortlist.
5. First Mohican
Alan King’s runner has plenty of big field handicap experience but has been desperately unlucky with the draw. He ran well on his sole visit to the track but is likely to struggle here.
This 6 year old is still relatively lightly raced and with an ace draw has to be respected. He’s won first time out before and if he’s able to hold his position early could be involved at the business end.
7. Magic Circle
Ralph Beckett’s charge has improved dramatically in the last 12 months and this five time winner could well pick up a big pot this season. He’ll come on for his prep race but the draw may have beaten him here.
8. Sea of Heaven
Handicap master Sir Mark Prescott is responsible for the likely favourite and he looks to hold a great chance here. He’s well bred, improving and ran a great race in the Cesarewitch last year. I make him the one to beat.
9. Duke of Clarence
Three of his last six starts have been in this race and so far he’s managed to finish no better than seventh. His owner loves to have runners in this race but he’s unlikely to better his previous efforts today.
A horse who I have always thought was capable of more than he’s shown so far, he’s well drawn and has ran well here in the past. This may be further than is ideal for him but he’s got a lot going for him here and could run a big race.
11. Angel Gabrial
This Chester Cup veteran was runner up here in 2014 but is on a losing streak of 21 races. Drawn widest of all he is likely to make it 22 races without success here.
12. Golden Spear
Trained by Tony Martin and ridden by Ryan Moore this fellow is likely to be very popular in the betting. He won two big handicaps in Ireland last season and is fit from his hurdles campaign so is of interest here.
13. Good Tradition
He’s spent the winter over hurdles and this ex Dermot Weld inmate needs to improve significantly to feature here. He’s drawn ok, but that’s the only thing in his favour.
14. The Cashel Man
He ran a race of promise in the Cesarewitch when last seen and it’s possible he’s still improving. However this race will be different to anything he’s experienced before and my concern is he may get too far behind early on.
15. Who Dares Wins
He had a very good campaign over hurdles culminating with a third in the Coral Cup so he comes here in great form. He won on his only previous visit here, is well drawn and has a good racing weight. I expect him to go very close in this.
16. Sir Chauvelin
He won twice in May last year and comes here with a couple of decent runs so far this year so he should be spot on today. Yet to fully convince he really stays this far he’s not for me.
17. Blakeney Point
He won easily at Kempton last time out and has a course win to his name. Drawn 1 he races prominently and is likely to be prominent throughout and this fast improving 4 year old is of obvious interest here.
He’s notched up a quick hat-trick between December and January on the all weather and seems at home on those surfaces. Yet to win on turf it would be some effort to change that here.
19. William of Orange
Another fit from jumping he finished last in this race last season. He’s not shown anything since to suggest he will be involved at the business end today and is easily opposed.
As ever this looks a fiercely competitive renewal with many holding serious claims. The draw at Chester is vital and even over this extreme distance you need to be able to hold a position early on or the race could be over before it’s started. I expect it to be a close finish but I think Who Dares Wins may just be a step ahead of the handicapper here.
Graeme Johnston’s 1-2-3-4
1. Who Dares Wins
2. Sea of Heaven
3. Blakeney Point