3.45pm Chester Tips & Betting Preview 05/05/2016

3.45pm Chester – Boodles Diamond Handicap Class Two – 7f 122yds

It’s not that often that the handicaps look as intriguing as the Group races but that is the case here and we are looking forward to seeing who looks set fair for a decent three-year-old campaign. Starting with our selection and the  Andrew Balding yard apparently think quite a bit of Ian Fleming (10/1 Each Way) was given a perfect ride by Ed Greatrex last time out at Wolverhampton to score by a nose. He appeared late on the scene that day before getting his head in front where it matters, and everyone present was impressed by the well timed effort from the saddle. The narrow margin that day has only seen him put up a pound which is nothing in the great scheme of things, and as it was his first run in over five months and the stable always leave something to work on, improvement today seems pretty much assured.

Ode To Evening (10/1) is set to carry top weight of nine stone seven this afternoon but ahs already had two runs this season and may be in the grip of the handicapper. He did show a lot of promise on his return after five months off when a nose second to Sea Of Flames over a mile at Lingfield when keeping on well, but failed to see out a mile and a quarter in the Group Three Classic Trial at Sandown behind odds on Derby hope Midterm. On breeding the seven furlongs here should be ideal but one or two may be a bit quicker than him when the chips are down, though he is well drawn and they may even try making the running here.

With the Richard Hannon yard in far better form this season than last in our view, Storm Rising (4/1) could be interesting if we ignore his last run when last of five at Newmarket when the stable were struggling for winners. Prior to that lacklustre effort, he had won both his other races with a maiden at Newbury and a Class Three handicap at the same track which he won pretty easily. Two year olds can have an off day so if we forgive him that then he arrives here with a decent chance, and a handicap mark of 90 may not be as harsh as it looks at first glance.

With no course and distance (CD) winners in the field we are drawn to Arcanada (9/2) next who has won at the course and over this distance – just not at the same time.  Trained by Tom Dascombe who is in among the winners of late, he scored last time out at Doncaster over a mile and had only been put up seven pounds. He made all that day and showed plenty of resolution to hold off all challengers for a three quarter length success, and if the same tactics are employee today (which could prove draw dependent) over this shorter trip, he may well take a lot of catching let alone passing here.

To round things off, Richard Fahey’s Dark Devil (8/1) will have to run from out of the handicap (he has to carry eight stone five but is officially allotted two pounds less), but we like the fact that the trainer has booked Paul Hanagan to ride as we can remember making plenty when those two combined in the past. Sent off at odds of 14/1 on his debut he surprised everyone when only going under by three quarters of a length to Arcanada at level weights (he gets seven pounds from that rival today), before he was sent off at Evens to go one better at Newcastle only to finish second once again. Third time lucky at Redcar when scoring by a neck, he was then put away for the winter and looks just the sort to make up in to a better three-year-old, and if there is a surprise here then we can certainly see him as the one who could provide it.

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