3.45pm Chester – Boodles Diamond Handicap Class Two – 5f 16yds
Five furlongs here and once again we needed to refer to the draw for race day before reaching our final conclusions. Roudee (6/1) would be the most appropriately named winner (with the track here known as “the Roodee”), and arrives here in good form after a Doncaster win over a furlong further and then finishing a length second to Normal Equilibrium at Epsom on soft going, but is the son of Kodiac now weighted out of things? Despite finishing second he has been put up a further two pounds which may balance out his possible fitness advantage, though a fast run five could yet play to all of his strengths and he is drawn nice and low in the one stall.
Much as we love his name we are hoping he won’t win as we will be having our money on Blithe Spirit (16/1 Each Way) from the Eric Alston yard. Now a five-year-old, she has already won around here four times over this trip and only has to carry three pounds more than on her last win this afternoon. Some horses come alive at a specific track and that seems the case with this daughter of Byron, and as we are more than willing to forgive her poor run when fifth at Nottingham on bottomless ground, which will have put her spot on for this afternoon, and we are anticipating a massive race under jockey Jason Hart today.
We always look for more than one each way option if we can as we know some of you like to play the bigger prices, and with a great draw in the three stall we wonder if Kimberalla (6/1) could run a bigger race than his recent form suggests. Those with long memories will remember David “Dandy” Nicholls as the one time king of the sprinters and as he is responsible for the son of the great Kyllachy and cant have forgotten what he once knew, he could yet surprise. His last win was at York in July 2015 off a mark of 91 and he has had twelve unsuccessful attempts since but is down to a rating of just 87 now so has to be considered potentially well handicapped and if you fancy a small flutter on a big priced outsider you could possibly do a lot worse than the six-year-old gelding this afternoon.
With the Richard Fahey yard continuing in fine fettle we can’t simply write off Growl (6/1) who ran a race full of promise when fourth on his return at Ripon. Owned by Dr Marwan Koukash who loves nothing more than a Chester winner or two, we can be sure he will be primed to run for his life, though whether this trip is ideal is open to question. On the negative side he has never even attempted the minimum trip before, exclusively racing over six and even seven furlongs, and as a son of Oasis Dream, he may even stay further if necessary. He will need to be a lot sharper out of the gates here than he was at Ripon if he wants to keep on terms with the speedier sorts, and ought to to be priced up as an outsider in our book, but with his in form and powerful connections, he could make the frame if everything goes his way when the stalls open.
Lastly, horses with a good recent run are always worthy of serious consideration in a handicap and Mukaynis (7/1) fits the bill having run second to Dougan over a sixth furlong at Kempton when having his first run for close to six months. Sent off at odds of 10/1 that day, the market suggested he wasn’t at his peak that day which makes the run all the more merit worthy, but how will he cope with the drop back to the minimum trip. Fact is he has won over it which is all good, but generally speaking they seem to prefer to send him over six which we see as a concern against some of these and he may well find himself seriously outpaced early in the race, and losing his two stall advantage.
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