The ground was given as good to soft on Tuesday morning ahead of the opening day of Chester’s three-day feature meeting of the year which culminates in the Chester Cup on Friday. There were further showers forecast for Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.
The listed Cheshire Oaks is a genuine classic trial and the front three in the market are potentially very smart. Dubai Foundation (2.15) finished fourth in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on her final juvenile start and that form was franked on Sunday when the third – Mother Earth – landed the 1000 Guineas. There are mixed messages from the selection’s pedigree as to whether she will get 12f, but she promises to stay, and I hope to see Franny Norton get to the lead from stall three and dictate his own gallop. Note the selection – 15/8 from 5/2 with William Hill – does not hold an entry for next month’s Oaks.
The form of the unbeaten Zeyaadah’s Montrose Stakes victory was given a boost when the winner – Mystery Angel – won the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket at the weekend. The filly looked a thorough stayer when getting up close home on that occasion with the pair clear. She is drawn on the outside which is a slight concern even though just the seven go to post. Darlectable You is bred in the pink but remains a maiden after two starts. She remains open to considerable improvement.
The cut in the ground will suit Fancy Man (3.15) and he gets the vote in what looks a sub-par Chester Vase with Aidan O’Brien taking out two of his three declarations on Tuesday. The ew selection – 5s with MansionBet – won two of his three starts as a juvenile – both on soft ground – and struggled on fast ground when a well beaten fifth in the Feilden Stakes on his reappearance. He finished 2L behind Youth Spirit – who reopposes this afternoon – on that occasion but is 3lbs better off. I did not think it was much of a race that market leader Wirko won at Epsom last time, but he is guaranteed to stay and is likely to improve again.
I am with the market leaders in the 3-y-old 6f handicap with marginal preference for Uncle Jumbo (3.45) over Good Listener. The selection was all dressed up with nowhere to go at Pontefract last time when he would surely have gone very close with a clear run. He can race from the same mark today, has a cracking draw in stall two and looks sure to run a big race although soft ground would be a slight concern. The 9/2 freely available on Tuesday was too big and he is a best price of 6/4 with 10Bet at the time of posting.
Good Listener is another with a good draw in four and I feel you can put a line through his Wolverhampton comeback when he lost all chance after a slow start. His juvenile form suggests he could be well treated from a mark of 77.
There is a terrific jumps card at Newton Abbot and the form of Heross Du Seuil’s (3.35) slightly fortuitous win at Kempton on his penultimate start has been franked by the subsequent wins of the second and third and I hope we can put a line through his disappointing effort at Warwick last time. The selection – 6/5 with Boylesports – has been given over two months to get over that modest effort, but the subsequent absence suggests something was found to be amiss. Trainer Nicky Henderson should have had a treble at Kempton on Monday, so we know the yard remain in very good form.
At Kelso I hope to see Do Not Disturb (1.55) go one better than when runner up at Perth last time from a 2lbs lower mark. That was his first start over 3m, and it was, arguably, a career best. I hope to see him make all for Rose Dobbin and Craig Nicol. The selection is 15/8 with BetVictor.