The first Pattern race on Day 2 of Chester’s May meeting is the listed Dee Stakes and Yibir is fitted with cheekpieces for the first time having finished third at Sandown in their Classic Trial on his reappearance when he had the run of the race.
I was underwhelmed with his finishing effort, however, and hope to see at least a couple improve past him despite his good draw in stall three. My two against the field, however, are Maximal (2.15) and Foxes Tales with marginal preference for the former who just lost out to Hurricane Lane at Newbury last time – pair clear. That form has already been franked by the success of the fourth home River Alwen at Newmarket last week. The each way recommendation is 5s with William Hill.
Foxes Tales – 15/2 with MansionBet – looked to be crying out for today’s 10f trip when landing a Newbury maiden over a mile last month. He looks a bigger danger than Ontario even though Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner of the corresponding race six time in the last eight years.
Maximal is trained by Sir Michael Stoute who – lo and behold – has taken My Swallow out of the extended 7f handicap. The official reason given will not be registered as widedrawitis, but it will be the most common ailment on the Roodeye this year.
It was not much of a race that Aquaman (2.45) won at Catterick last time, but he did it with the minimum of fuss and a 3lbs rise looks fair enough. A draw in stall three looks ideal and I feel he is capable of a much higher rating. His Catterick success was gained on fast ground but his best juvenile performance was gained with plenty of cut. There was 9/2 available on Tuesday but he is a best price of 11/4 with BetVictor at the time of posting.
It was only a seven runner race that Baryshnikov (3.45) won over today’s C&D back in September, but he was a fluent winner, and he is only 3lbs higher this afternoon. The selection was slowly away at Doncaster on his reappearance and never got competitive in a race where it paid to race prominently. If he gets away on terms today from his good low draw, then I would be disappointed if he did not run a big race. There was 9s about on Wednesday but the ew recommendation is 13/2 with Boylesports at the time of posting.
The early betting suggested the finale was a match between Sonning and Baileys Derbyday and the latter is certainly of interest given he has been raised 3lbs for finishing second at Yarmouth last week but can run from his old mark this afternoon.
I do feel, however, there are more races to be run with Set Point (4.45) and hope he can defy top weight for Hugo Palmer. The selection – 9/4 with 10Bet – finished behind Maximal at Newbury last time and a big run from that colt earlier in the day would be a boost to the prospects of this Sea The Stars colt.
There is plenty of pace in the 2m handicap chase at Huntingdon and Rooster Cogburn showed True Grit when making all at Market Rasen last time given he looked to have gone off far too quickly. If in the same mood a 9lbs rise won’t stop him and this similar flat right-hand track looks ideal.
That huge effort must have taken a lot out of him, however, and Pointed And Sharp (2.25) is considered an each way alternative. The selection will have the race run to suit and is 11lbs lower than his last winning mark. The 9-y-old pulled too hard and failed to get home over 2m 3f at Exeter last time in what was his first start for five months. He should be more amenable to restraint with that run under his belt and all four career wins have been gained under Micheal Nolan. The ew selection is 17/2 with Boylesports.