5.20pm Chester Tips & Betting Preview 06/08/2017

This is a Class 4 handicap raced over 1m 2 1/2f, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: There’s a lot to like about the chances of X Rated in this on the back of a near-miss earlier this week at Windsor. However, he’s short enough in the betting on the back of that run and the vote goes to AL ZAMAN. Simon Crisford’s runner has been dropped 3lbs following his last run and he’s been given a small break so he can get back to winning ways making full use of his 3yo allowance.

1 ENERGIA FOX – Richard Fahey’s mare won a C&D handicap back in May and she’s only 1lb higher than that mark today. She doesn’t find winning easy having only won four times from 38 career starts and she’s been well-held on her last three starts since that victory. She could bump into a couple of better weighted runners today and others are preferred.

2 OUTBACK BLUE – Another runner that finds winning difficult with just two wins from 25 career starts to his name. He finished second, beaten a neck in a Class 5 handicap last time out in a first-time visor which is retained today. He’s only 2lbs higher than that mark here although he’s back above his last winning mark and others make more appeal.

3 FORT JEFFERSON – Andrew Balding’s runner has only made nine career starts to date and he was last seen finishing last of ten, beaten 70 lengths at Epsom. That was his first run since January when he also finished last, beaten 23 lengths that day. He has evidently had some major issues and they don’t look to have been resolved based on his last run. Impossible to recommend and the market should guide best.

4 AL ZAMAN – Hasn’t built on his maiden victory in two Class 3 handicaps on his last two starts. He’s been given a small break since his last run back in May and connections will be hopeful he has improved for some time off combined with a 3lb lower mark. Richard Kingscote takes over in the saddle and he’s worth a second look in the betting with conditions surely in his favour today. The yard have been operating at a 19% strike rate in the past fortnight.

5 X RATED – Mark Johnston’s runner is drawn perfectly in stall 1 and he bumped into one earlier this week at Windsor. It was a bizarre race run at a furious pace and he will have things much more to his liking in this off the same mark. The ground is a concern though having never run on anything worse than Good in 12 starts. He looks to be on a fair mark and commands plenty of respect today.

6 GOLDEN WOLF – Should improve for a recent outing in a Wolverhampton maiden a few weeks ago following a gelding operation. He has some talent although he’s failed to get his head in-front in four starts and he begins his handicap career off a mark of 75. That appears to be a reasonable mark and he could take his form to a new level today with his 3yo allowance taken into account.

7 MELABI – 2 wins from 19 career starts and he’s a pound higher than his last winning mark which came in a low-grade Class 6 handicap at Thirsk back in April. He couldn’t follow up that run with a success when sent off the 4/5 favourite in a Class 5 handicap subsequently and this should be far too tough for him today.

8 ALEXANDER M – Broke his maiden tag at the 8th attempt in a 4-runner event at Doncaster back in June. He was beaten 11 1/2 lengths over C&D on similar ground at the end of last month and he races off the same mark again today. Franny Norton gets off him to ride X Rated and he is best watched with little in-hand at the weights.

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