The ground was given as good to soft at Chester on Thursday morning with no further rain forecast ahead of today’s nine-race card.
In the extended 7f nursery Tom Marquand takes over on Mark Johnston’s Chase The Dollar (2.40) who bids to follow up his recent Ayr success. This son of Frankel has been ridden by Joe Fanning in his first couple of starts, but the latter is required at Lingfield this evening which could be a tip in itself.
The selection – 10/11 from 11/10 with William Hill on Thursday evening – will get a mile and more in time, but he is well drawn in stall two and is bred to be better than his opening mark of 78.
Revich (3.10) has a good record at the Roodeye and both his career wins – including over today’s C&D – have been gained from the front. Tom Marquand takes over in the saddle this afternoon on Richard Spencer’s four-year-old who has a cracking draw in stall two. Spencer fits his gelding with a first-time visor today, and he will have to be sharper from the boxes than he has so far this term. The hope is that the combination of headgear, a low draw and Marquand works the oracle. The ew recommendation is 9/2 with Boylesports who are betting 4 places.
In the 10f handicap I am loath to desert Highwaygrey even though he was value for more than the winning margin at Pontefract last time. He is a confirmed hold up performer, however, and a draw in stall 11 is a concern. He will need luck in running to land his hat-trick.
Tonyx has won two of her three career starts but was too keen to be seen at her best when finishing last of six on her reappearance at Newmarket. The handicapper has dropped her a couple of pounds for that effort and, if she is more amenable to restraint, she looks sure to run a big race.
The ew vote, however, goes to the 3-y-old Strait Of Hormuz (4.40) who steps up beyond a mile for the first time this afternoon. Jedd O’Keefe’s three-year-old was doing his best work late on over Ascot’s straight mile last time and he did break his maiden tag over 7f here last season when trained by Andrew Balding.
The selection – 9/2 with bet365 – has a good draw in stall six and I hope jockey Antonio Fresu can get his mount into a good position going into the first turn just past the winning post. The only other member of the classic generation in the field Berkshire Savvy is another to consider, but his draw – 12 of 13 – is a worry.
The 1m 6f handicap looks a better race than the one won by Sefton Warrior at Yarmouth earlier in the month and he is overlooked carrying a 6lbs penalty. If there is one horse in the field who could be well ahead of his mark it is surely Be Easy (5.40) who shaped like a decent prospect when fourth at Haydock on debut before disappointing at Ascot in a race that may have come too soon for Ed Walker’s filly.
The selection – 11/2 with Unibet – has been given over a month to get over that Ascot test and she is related to several winners over staying trips including a French Group 1 winner over a trip just short of two miles.
There is a cracking handicap at Pontefract over 2m 1f . The 3-y-old Revolver is looking for his sixth successive win this term for Sir Mark Prescott having risen in the handicap from 57 at the start of the year to 92, although he can race from a mark 1lb lower this afternoon.
The other three-year-old Frankenstella was a fluent winner over C&D here a fortnight ago and a 7lbs rise is fair. If the race became tactical – there is no guaranteed pace in the race – she would have every chance of following up.
The ew vote, however, goes too Seinesational (3.20) who pulled hard and faded close home at Goodwood last time in a race he had finished runner up in last time. He is 3lbs lower than when third over C&D on his reappearance under Ben Curtis and has dropped to a decent mark. The 12s with bet365 is a fair price.
The Gp 3 Irish St Leger trial is one of the feature races at the Curragh and Search For A Song (2.30) steps back up to a more appropriate trip having won the classic itself last season for Dermot Weld. The filly – 13/8 at 10bet – ran a good race over an inadequate 10f behind Magical last time and connections have a pacemaker – Maria Christina – to ensure a true test.
Master Of Reality finished second past the post in the Melbourne Cup last season – subsequently demoted to fourth – and looks the main danger alongside Delphi who is certainly quicker and less injury prone than his near namesake who is occasionally available for Everton.
At Lingfield Caledonian Crusade (4.55) was just touched off at Newcastle last time and he can race from the same mark this afternoon even though he is due to take a 3lbs hike in the weights. The selection – 9/4 with bet365 – may need luck in running given he is normally held up out the back in his races. The hope is that the “head waiter” Jamie Spencer delivers him fast and late.
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