3.20pm Chester Tips & Betting Preview 02/09/2017

Five and a half furlongs around the Roudee, where track positioning is all important. Just under £12,000 on offer to the winner of this contest. Our expert tip and runner by runner preview are below.

IN SUMMARY: WILLYTHECONQUEROR is the class act in this contest, just a length behind Acapulco earlier in the season. He has been well below that level since but his form at a higher grade make him worth backing at a double figure price given the form that he has in the book. Confessional enjoys his racing round here, he has been hitting the frame from this sort of mark this season and another placed effort would come as no surprise. Poet’s Society has a good draw in 1 for a front runner, he may well have them on the stretch from an early stage.

1 WILLYTHECONQUEROR – Hasn’t got his head in front since April 2016, still eight pounds further up the handicap since that victory. He has been placed multiple times at Listed level since to more than justify his mark, including when only a length behind Acapulco on his seasonal return this year. That was a career best so it’s disappointing that he has gone backwards since. The one to beat if he is able to get back close to that form and looks well worth getting involved with at the prices.

2 GRACIOUS JOHN – The majority of his best form has come on the All-Weather, but he got his head in front in a Nottingham handicap in November from eight pounds higher. He has struggled away from the artificial surfaces this season, including in a handicap last time out. Has the ability to get involved but the percentage call is to oppose.

3 EL ASTRONAUTE – Narrow margin winner of three handicaps this season, he got home by a short head at Glorious Goodwood. He has bundles of early pace but might have to use up too much of that in the early stages if he is to take a prominent position from stall ten. His margin of victory from lower marks suggest that he is going to need a little extra if he is to get his head in front again.

4 VERNE CASTLE – Rocketed up the handicap in the last year, winning five times in six starts. They were all on Polytrack, forcing his turf mark up in conjunction. His form on the turf hasn’t been anywhere close to what he has shown on the sand and as such he is very hard to consider in such a deep contest.

5 TAEXALI – A winner just once in twenty-five starts, that coming in a Brighton maiden back in April 2015. Blinkers are back on now after two races with them missing. He was only a neck behind El Astronaute at this track, now six pounds better off for that narrow defeat. That would give him an each way chance but given his general record, he is no sure thing to turn that around from a draw in eight.

6 SPRING LOADED – Eight wins from fourteen starts on the All-Weather, he is just 1/15 on the turf. He has a thirteen pound lower mark on the grass to compensate and does at least have form on the surface. The best of his form has come over six furlongs so this sharp trip might be an issue for him as well as the wide draw in nine.

7 EAST STREET REVUE – Three time winner on various ground, all coming over five furlongs. He made a promising return to action at Beverley in April but hasn’t gone on from that since. He was beaten in a softer race than this at York last time, a track where he has run well in the past so he has plenty to prove regarding his current wellbeing now.

8 CONFESSIONAL – Five pounds lower than when only a length behind El Astronaute here earlier in the season. Two wins and four places at this track in the past, it is a course he performs particularly well at. He has been performing consistently of late (albeit at a slightly lower level) but a strong pace here would help him into the contest so is far from discounted.

9 POET’S SOCIETY – Sole three year old in the line-up for all that he is relatively exposed for one of his age group. He is only a pound above his last winning mark but that was at a much lower level. He acts on any ground and has a great draw for a front runner in one, so perhaps he will be able to at least get into the frame..

10 LUCKY BEGGAR – All dressed up with nowhere to go on the home turn at this track last week, that has become an all too common occurrence with him this season. He should have no problems like that here given that he is in the widest draw in twelve but that gives him another set of problems, trying to get a position early without using up too much energy. Ran well twice here earlier in the season but is hard to support now.

11 BLITHE SPIRIT – Hasn’t produced lots of smart form in the last eighteen months but what she has shown has been at this track. She has a little to find with a couple of these on her form this season, including when runner-up to Confessional here last time. Needs more at this level, especially from a wide draw in eleven.

12 POWERALLIED – Six of the eight times he has made the first three have come at this track so he always requires a second look when racing here. He is two pounds below his last winning mark so is fairly treated on his best but he is yet to win above Class 3 level which is going to make things more difficult for him.

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