1.50pm Chester Tips & Betting Preview 12/05/2017

A five time winner in 2016 including over C&D in July, ICE SLICE can start his winning sequence for this season with a win in this for James Eustace. He look that C&D victory in the Little Legs Mile Handicap in July off a 2lb lower mark, with that win actually being the last of a hectic year for the six year old by Dark Angel. He was ticking over nicely towards the end of the season and returned this campaign with a tenth at Nottingham and although on the face of it that was a poor effort, he likely needed the run and can go much better this time around. A mark of 93 is certainly one he can exploit from stall four and with Ryan Tate taking the ride, he’s fancied to gain win number eight of his career.

Frankie Dettori and Sir Michael Stoute will be teaming up on the early price favourite El Hayem, who runs in the colours of Al Shaqab Racing. This four year old has only raced five times and although he showed little ability on debut, he stepped up on that massively when winning a maiden at Doncaster comfortably, with the form working out well. He performed to a similar level in two subsequent runs, capping off the season when finishing ninth in a handicap at Ascot in July, losing his place a furlong from home. He returned this season in the Spring Cup at Newbury, finishing sixth but far from disgraced as it was his first run for a long time and he was slowly away. He remains on the same mark and has scope for further progress in a likely easier race than he faced last time out. Conditions are to suit and if breaking on terms this time, he’d have to be considered a huge danger.

With three wins from five starts here at Chester, it’s impossible rule out Keith Dalgleish’s Sound Advice. He won over C&D back in May 2016 off a 2lb higher mark and he finished a respectable forth in this race last year for connections, perhaps ending the season on a low note when well beaten in two big field handicaps at Ayr and York. His return at Thirsk was a sound effort when coming home in seventh, clearly needing the run and as a result the handicapper has dropped him another pound. Dougie Costello takes the ride with the only real niggle his draw out in stall eight, as that certainly could have been kinder on him.

It’d certainly been a long time between drinks but his latest run at Thirsk represented a well deserved victory for Richard Fahey’s Rene Mathis, who hadn’t won since August 2015. Posting a brilliant effort when second in Meydan in handicap company, he failed to replicate that in subsequent runs before taking his first victory in a long while at Thirsk twenty days ago, driven out to a one length success with that form taking a boost when Custom Cut came out and won in Group 3 company last weekend. He returns to handicap company off a mark of 100 which is 2lb below his second in Meydan back January, so he does have a good run in him off this mark. Paul Hanagan will take the ride and with the Richard Fahey continuing in good form, he has a very good chance of taking victory number eight of his career.

Things have gone astray for Intransigent the last twice, but he was showing a good level of form before that and the switch back to turf could help spark him back to life. He’s had a busy period this year for Andrew Balding, winning five starts ago at Kempton at this distance and he put up a placed effort at Lingfield three starts ago over the mile distance. He hasn’t been in the same form the last twice however and he was solidly beaten at Lingfield in an apprentice handicap when last seen in April, keen early on before finding the door bolted shut entering the home straight. A return to turf could spark some improvement from the eight year old who put together some decent enough efforts on the grass last summer, placing at Chester off a 3lb higher mark back in September. He looks an interesting each way angle into the race and deserves a second look.

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