What are the best bets at Chester on Wednesday?
It’ll be fast and furious on the Roodee and the Channel 4 cameras are there to show the first four races – here’s what might just happen.
14:10 Stellar Group Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes, 5f16y
The traditional curtain-raiser of the meeting can go to the forecast favourite FIERY CHARACTER, who is arguably value at the current 13/8 with BetVictor – I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t go off at around even money. Her 33/1 success at the Craven meeting 20 days ago was no fluke and the form looks strong. It was not totally unexpected either as her trainer Tom Dascombe was by all accounts going around telling people she would win and the whole yard was on.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock should get 6f in time but she’s clearly got plenty of speed and can blast out from her favourable draw in stall two and make all this afternoon.
14:40 Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks (Fillies’ Listed) (For The Robert Sangster Memorial Cup), 1m3f79y
A 1-2-3 in the 1000 Guineas on Sunday was a reminder (hardly needed) that Aidan O’Brien has a stable chock-full off high-class fillies and his SOMEHOW will be a warm order for this Oaks trial. Out of an Oaks winner in Alexandrova, she is clearly bred to be a bit special and she’s looked the part on the race track, winning her maiden at Leopardstown in April comfortably from Shamreen, who franked the form when going one better 18 days later.
She is a 25/1 shot generally for the Epsom Classic and will have the Curragh as an option too, providing she wins here of course and she’s odds-on in places to do just that. While a couple of her rivals -Diamonds Pour Moi and Moorside – fall in to the ‘could be anything’ category and also hold Classic entries, they lack a run and may not be good enough besides. Of the pair, Charlie Hills’ Moorside could be the one to chase home the favourite after showing promise in a couple of decent maidens last backend.
Don’t want to bet at odds-on? The Fiery Character-Somehow double pays just over 3.72/1 with Betfair Sportsbook at their current odds (13/8 & 4/5).
15:10 Betway Chester Cup (Heritage Handicap), 2m2f147y
The Roger Varian-trained STEVE ROGERS looks a very strong favourite (bet365 are one of a few firms offering 4/1) for the big race for the reasons found here. In short, he’s an improving five-year-old who is expected to make up into a Cup horse this season – he has an entry in the Ascot Gold Cup – and is well treated on a mark of 94. Just as important, he has a fantastic draw in stall three and his prominent style of racing is tailor-made for this unique test, with no concerns either over the trip and track as he’s a past winner here.
15:45 Boodles Diamond Handicap, 5f16y
A low draw here in all races cannot be underestimated as it’s dog-track tight and that is even more important in double-figure fields, like this one. Those drawn higher than stall five need a fast break and then be able to manoeuvre across to near the rail as the wide runners forfeit so much ground. That said, those jockeys drawn near the inside can sometimes be guilty of going off too fast, thus giving the outside closers a chance. Who said it was an exact science?
However, it’s no wonder that the four lowest drawn horses fill the first five places in the betting for this race: Growl (stall 4), Kimberella (3), Roudee (1) and Mukaynis (2). It must be a shade of odds-on that one of that quartet will win, despite the earlier caveat, and my money at least will be carried by ROUDEE (6/1 Hills), one of three Tom Dascombe-trained runners and a winner over track and trip at last year’s meeting, to go with two seconds at the track.
It’s common knowledge that his trainer loves to target his local meeting and I expect he will already have a winner on the board courtesy of Fiery Character (2.10pm). Like that filly, the selection has some winning recent form, that coming at Doncaster on his reappearance, and he followed that up with a solid second at Epsom last time. Both those runs were on soft ground, on which he’s a 10lb better horse according to his trainer, and providing the ground doesn’t dry out from the current ‘good to soft’ (another caveat), he must go close.
As cover, I suggest a dual forecast bet with Kevin Ryan’s Mukaynis, who showed a lot of speed when second at at Kempton on his reappearance and is a stronger horse this year, according to his trainer in a recent Stable Tour.
Fancy some free bets? Back a winner at 4/1 or bigger in any of the above races with bet365 and they will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £50 per customer per race) on the next race shown live on Channel 4.