Watch the stanjames.com Chester Cup live on Channel 4 at 2.45pm
Mubaraza is a worthy favourite for this afternoon’s stanjames.com Chester Cup, having posted a solid effort when runner-up in a valuable Ripon handicap on his seasonal reappearance. He was conceding race-fitness to the winner there, Angel Gabrial, and meets his conqueror on 3lb better terms for a neck beating so really should turn the tables this time.
However, overall I’m not sure that he has much room for manoeuvre off his present mark and I’d recommend splitting stakes and opting for two in this £120,000 contest, namely GLENARD and COMMUNICATOR, currently available at 9/1 with BetVictor and 10s with Paddy Power respectively.
A low draw is an advantage at Chester, even over a marathon trip, so being drawn in stall 14 is no help where Glenard is concerned. Still, it’s tricky rather than impossible to land the Chester Cup from a double-digit draw and, granted a bit of luck in running, I reckon Charles Hills’ charge can overcome his wide berth.
The four-year-old has been brought along steadily by connections and was progressive in middle-distance handicaps last term. He shaped well when upped to 2m on his return at Kempton at the end of March, putting in good late work after being held up towards the rear. This stiffer test promises to be right up his street and to my mind he’s potentially the best-handicapped horse in this race.
Communicator is also on a workable mark at present and the fact that he hasn’t finished out of the frame in four previous starts on the Roodee augurs well. He has been in good heart on the AW since the turn of the year and should run a big race back on turf with conditions in his favour today.
Bright Approach Can Outshine Terrific
Aidan O’Brien has a good record in the Cheshire Oaks and has a solid chance of landing this Listed contest once again this afternoon courtesy of Terrific, who shaped as though she would relish this stiffer test of stamina when third on her reappearance at Navan last month.
The Galileo filly should also benefit from the refitting of blinkers, having sported first-time cheekpieces at Navan, but I reckon she will struggle to cope with BRIGHT APPROACH who did the job well on debut at Newbury and rates a solid bet at 5/2 with William Hill.
Despite not getting the clearest of runs the daughter of New Approach won that 1¼m maiden with plenty left up her sleeve, showcasing a good turn of foot. The form has substance to it, too, with the second and third both winning subsequently (the second landed a Listed race).
Sweetie Can Say Cheerio To Rivals
In the first of the four televised races at Chester today, the Manor House Stables Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes, the one to be on is CHEERIO SWEETIE who rates a confident selection so the 15/8 with SkyBet should be duly gobbled up.
She bolted up on her introduction on Polytrack at Lingfield in March and subsequently chased home Mukhmal in a six-runner minor event at Musselburgh. The selection meets that rival on 9lb better terms here and has the plum draw whereas Mark Johnston’s charge is perched out wide in stall 10.
The pick of the remainder is Magical Memory who attracted support on debut at Newbury last month. She failed to vindicate punters’ confidence in that maiden, but she looked in need of the experience and wasn’t knocked about. She is probably capable of a good deal better.
1.45 Cheerio Sweetie
2.15 Bright Approach
2.45 Glenard & Communicator
3.15 Sir Maximilian