A field of twelve go to post for the third race of the day at Chester on Saturday, live on ITV4. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Breakable is on a career high mark but continues to improve and should be taking a prominent role in this. That said, preference is for INTRANSIGENT, who holds a good record here with one win and four seconds from twelve starts. He returned to form on his latest start when second at Kempton, keeping on well behind a runaway winner and he remains on the same mark. That means he is only a pound above his last winning mark and with connections in good form still, he looks tough to beat under David Probert.
1 GABRIAL – Finished fourth in the Lincoln Handicap back in April but his latest efforts give him something to prove here, as he’s seemingly regressing of late. He was last seen in a Group 3 at York one week ago, keen early on but never able to get involved. A mark of 107 back in handicaps sees him running off a huge weight and although Adam McNamara takes off three pounds, others are far more persuasive.
2 SOUND ADVICE – Won over course and distance in May off a two pound lower mark but he’s been well below form on subsequent efforts, last seen at Thirsk where he simply never threatened. He’s now tongue tied for the first time and dropped two pounds in the handicap, but others make far more appeal and he’s likely best watched until he shows some form.
3 BREAKABLE – Won over course and distance four weeks ago, winning going away after being blocked in the run. He’s been far from disgraced in two runs since, reaching the frame on both occasions. He is now on a career high mark after chasing home Lincoln Rocks in a York handicap, but a repeat of that performance will see him reaching the frame here for in form connections.
4 LOVE DREAMS – Lightly raced three year old for Mark Johnston who won at Newmarket three starts ago in ready fashion, but he’s taken two backwards steps since then. He was well beaten in Group 3 company at York on his latest start and before that he was brushed aside in a handicap, so he does have something to prove off a mark of 100. He’s an each way contender if resuming his progressive profile but others are less risky.
5 FINGAL’S CAVE – In the best form of his career this summer for Philip Kirby, but he remains inconsistent and needs a career best off this mark to threaten now upped in grade. He was second at York on his penultimate start which was a fine effort but he was unable to back it up when never better than midfield at Haydock in Class 3 company. A bounce back to form would be no surprise but this career high mark demands something more and he can only be given a slim each way chance.
6 KHAMAARY – Another lightly raced sort for Mark Johnston who has won three of her six starts, demolishing a field at Lingfield on her penultimate start in a classified stakes race. She failed to back that up on her latest start though when languishing at Newmarket, dropping away tamely in the final furlong. She remains on the same mark and has plenty to prove now, with Stall 9 no easy draw to overcome. Hard to rule her out entirely but others are preferred.
7 INTRANSIGENT – One win and four seconds here at Chester, blowing out on his penultimate start over course and distance. He bounced back though on his latest start when second at Kempton in August, conceding first run to the winner. He’s now back down to a mark of 91 which sees him only a pound above his last winning mark, with a return to this venue only a positive. Conditions are to suit and he’s drawn well, so he should take all the beating under David Probert.
8 WAR GLORY – Running to a good level this season but has failed to get his head in front, finishing second for the third time this season when behind a runaway winner at Newmarket on his latest start. He remains on the same mark and has definite each way claims if running to the same level again, though he looks vulnerable for win purposes as he doesn’t seem to be improving anymore.
9 SHARP DEFENCE – Inconsistent type for John Patrick Shanahan and although he isn’t straightforward to follow, he continues to improve. He arrives here on the back of a very good second in a Dundalk handicap earlier this month and a repeat of that performance off the same mark will see him going very close here for in form connections. Going back in trip should suit and he’s one to consider with conditions fine.
10 SIR RODERIC – Edging down the weights for Rod Millman, getting back to some sort of form on his latest start when third at Newbury in the mud. He was beaten a fair way on that occasion but it did give some hope and the handicapper has dropped him a further two pounds. A return to better ground should be a help and although he remains risky, he goes for in form connections and a strong pace will suit him.
11 WINK OLIVER – One win from seventeen turf starts for this Jo Hughes inmate who put in one of his better efforts when second at Deauville two weeks ago, on the all weather track. He returns to the turf needing a career best by some way, remaining three pounds above his mark when beaten a long way at Bath in June. Hard to recommend.
12 PENWORTHAM – Finished second over course and distance back in May off a five pound higher mark, though his four efforts that have followed haven’t been of much encouragement. His latest start here did show something more when fifth, but he was still beaten a fair way and more is needed on this occasion. Possible each way claims at a bigger price but it’s hard to get excited about his claims.