Chester Cup: Runner-by-Runner Guide | 11th May 2018
Racing tipster Graeme Johnston runs the rule over runners and riders in Friday’s showpiece from Chester, the 188BET Chester Cup.
188BET Chester Cup | Friday 3:35 | ITV
Magic Circle – Fifth in this race last season, he has plenty of solid form in big race handicaps. He’s well drawn and is likely to be heavily involved in the finish here.
Stargazer – Was progressive for Sir Michael Stout two years ago but missed 2017 with a setback. He has since switched to Philip Kirby and has resumed his progress. Well drawn, he has the right mix of speed and stamina for this test.
Dubai Fifty – Fourth in the Cesarewitch last season he’s won twice on the all-weather since. Looks open to further improvement but he’s drawn slightly wider than ideal.
Who Dares Wins – A remarkably consistent horse, he was placed at Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals over the spring and was fourth here last year too. He is drawn wide but the best he can hope for would be a place.
Time to Study – A typical Mark Johnston horse, he’s brave and consistent and looks the ideal type for the track. He’s likely to be prominent for most of the race and should run very well.
Watersmeet – Another typical Mark Johnston horse, he is drawn perfectly here and everything is in place for a big run. However, it’s three years since he won on turf and that is a worry.
Nakeeta – A handicap veteran, he’s won this, the Ebor and been fifth in a Melbourne Cup so has to be respected. He’s top weight and drawn wide so he’s likely to be seen to better effect later on in the season.
Fun Mac – Third in this race last year and much better drawn here so he interests me for this. He has a good record fresh and he is high on my shortlist.
My Reward – A front runner who is drawn in stall one and has won at the track before so has to be of interest. He should be prominent for a long way but he may be vunerable late on.
Grandee – Joined the O’Meara yard from Ireland over the winter and he ran well on his debut when second at Ripon. He was awkwardly away last time and this usual front runner could show better here if more alert at the beginning.
Prince of Arran – He’s fit from a winter in Dubai where he managed to win, he’s high in the weights and others appeal more.
Silver Concorde – Promised to be very high class over hurdles in his youth and he seems to have rediscovered his form with Keith Dalgleish. Could appeal as an each-way selection here.
Cayirli – Won at a huge price last time, however his overall form indicates that he’s up against it here and with the worst draw possible he is overlooked here.
Jukebox Jive – I like this horse but he’s been desperately unlucky with the draw. He will be able to go the pace early on and will stay, be just might have to do too much to get in to the race first.
Saigon City – He’s eight now but he’s already got a win to his name this season and isn’t a back number just yet. However, he will need to put up a career best effort to win from this draw.
Vent De Force – Three years since his last victory his overall form is not good enough to win this. His stable has also not been amongst the winners lately and he would be a surprise winner.
Shadow Sadness – It’s hard to weigh up his form from Germany but he was an easy winner last time out. There is little in way of market confidence in him and I’ve taken him on.
As ever this looks hugely competitive race and the 188bet Chester Cup promises to be the race of the meeting. The draw is hugely important here, especially over longer distance given horses are almost constantly turning and my selections are hugely influenced by the draw.
I’ve gone for last year’s third Fun Mac to go two better here and for him to be followed home by the consistent Time To study and Magic Circle to complete the first three.
Graeme Johnston’s 188BET Chester Cup 1-2-3
1. Fun Mac
2. Time To Study
3. Magic Circle