Chester May Meeting Trends & Tips: Fri 7th May 2021

As we move into the final day of the Chester May Meeting we’ve the three-day highlight with the Chester Cup now being run on the Friday. Loads of key trends to take in ahead the big race – like, did you know 17 of the last 18 Chester Cup winners were aged 7 or younger, while 12 of the last 18 came from stalls 7 or lower and carried 9-2 or less!

So, as always, we’ve got it all covered here at RACING AHEAD with all the key trends, plus our verdict, on each of the LIVE ITV races – we’re confident these trends will point you in the direction of a few winners, or at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners – So, let’s get going!

CHESTER HORSE RACING TRENDS (ITV/RacingTV)

1.45 – tote+Placepots Pay More Earl Grosvenor Handicap Cl2 7f122y ITV4

16/18 – Didn’t win their last race
15/18 – Had a previous run that season
15/18 – Finished unplaced last time out
14/18 – Had won over this trip (7 1/2f) before
14/18 – Aged either 4 or 5 years-old
14/18 – Had run before at Chester
13/18 – Carried 8-10 or more
12/18 – Favourites placed
10/18 – Came from stall 5 or higher
9/18 – Horses placed from stall 1
8/18 – Won by a 4 year-old
5/18 – Won by the favourite
4/18 – Winning horses from stall 1
2/18 – Trained by Richard Fahey
2/18 – Ridden by Paul Hanagan
Baraweez won the race in 2018

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: This has been another race that horses drawn in stall 1 have done well in – they’ve won 4 of the last 18, but also been placed in 50% of the last 18 too. With that in mind, the Richard Spencer runner – REVICH (e/w) – looks interesting. This 5 year-old also ticks the main age trend that has seen 14 of the last 18 winners aged 4 or 5 and is also a proven CD winner here at Chester. He was 6th in the Lincoln at the end of March and wasn’t beaten far (4th) at Newbury last time out either, suggesting he’s running into form. Tom Marquand riding is the icing on the cake. Of the rest, Another Batt is the only other CD winner in the field, but has been out of form of late. But the Richard Fahey yard love to have winners at this meeting and have won this race a few times before too. They run CROWNTHORPE and GABRIAL THE DEVIL. The former will have Paul Hanagan doing the steering and draw 5 looks okay, while Gabrial The Devil is a course winner here too (6f) that also has a fair draw in 7. Of the rest, Ejtilaab and Brentford Hope have the form to go well, but wide draws don’t help, so of those drawn lower – Dulas, Grove Ferry and Gobi Sunset are others to have on your radar.  

2.15 – Melodi Media Huxley Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 1m2f75y ITV4

17/18 – Aged either a 4 or 5 year-old
15/18 – Had won over 1m2f before
14/18 – Had a previous race that season
13/18 – Favourites that finished 1st or 2nd in this race
13/18 – Returned 9/2 or shorter in the betting
11/18 – Winners from between stalls 1-4
10/18 – Failed to win their previous race
9/18 – Winning favourites
6/18 – Returned 6/4 or shorter in the betting
6/18 – Had raced at Chester before
5/18 – Ran in the John Porter at Newbury before winning this
5/18 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute
5/18 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
2/18 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
Forest Ranger won the race in 2018 and 2019

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Palavecino is the only CD winner in the field so that’s a plus, but the ratings suggest he’s got a bit to find with a few of these. The Stoute camp have a fine record in the race, with 5 wins since 2001. They have another leading chance this year too with Sangarius, who we last saw beating another of today’s runners – Bangkok – in a Listed race at Lingfield back in December. This 5 year-old has been off since but has had another wind operation and has gone well fresh in the past. The already mentioned Bangkok will be fitter than most after beating Palavecino in the Easter Classic at Lingfield last month and it should be a close thing between the pair again here. However, the horse they seemingly all have to beat is the Aidan O’Brien runner – ARMORY. This 4 year-old is the top-rated in the field (120) and rated 6lbs higher than his nearest rival – Sangarius. He was last seen running a close second in the Cox Plate in Australia and prior to that had run well in several Group One races, despite not winning. He’s back in grade here today and should be well suited by conditions. Yes, the O’Brien yard have only won this race twice in the past, but those wins have been in the last 9 runnings. Ryan Moore, on the other hand, has won this race 5 times in the past and is a plus in the saddle.  

2.45 – tote+ Chester Cup (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 2m2f147y ITV4

17/18 – Aged 7 years-old or younger
15/18 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or less
13/18 – Officially rated between 93-99
13/18 – Aged 5, 6 or 7 years-olds
12/18 – Finished unplaced last time out
12/18 – Won from stall 7 or lower
12/18 – Carried 9-2 or less
12/18 – Had raced within the last 2 months
12/18 – Had won previously over at least 2m on the flat
11/18 – Returned 10/1 or shorter in the betting
10/18 – Favourites were unplaced
8/18 – Irish bred
4/18 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
4/18 – Won by owner Dr Marwan Koukash
3/18 – Had won at the track before
3/18 – Ran at Aintree over hurdles last time out
3/18 – Won their previous race
2/18 – Trained by Donald McCain
2/18 – Trained by Richard Fahey
2/18 – Trained by Ian Williams
2/18 – Won by the favourite
The average winning SP in the last 18 years is 12/1

Key Chester Cup Stats

The race has seen repeat winners three times since 1997
Since 1975 we’ve only seen 4 winning favourites
The Hills yard took the race in 1980, 1999, 2001 and 2009
Since 1975 all winners have been aged 8 or younger
Since 1975 there have only been three winners aged 8 years-old
Since 1981 only 7 winners have carried more than 9-2 to victory
4 of the last 10 winners came from NH yards
3 of the last 8 winners returned 10/1
Dr Marwan Koukash has owned 4 of the last 12 winners

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: The first thing to note here is that ALL of winners of the Chester Cup since 1975 have been aged 8 or younger – therefore, one of the leading fancies – Not So Sleepy, who is a 9 year-old, has this age trend to overcome. We’ve also only seen four winning favourites since 1975 and Not So Sleepy does have a chance of going off as the market leader too. So, with 17 of the last 18 winners aged 7 or younger this is a negative for Not So Sleepy, Who Dares Wins, who was runner-up in 2019, Coeur De Lion and Blakeney Point. 12 of the last 18 winners came from stalls 7 or lower and also carried 9-2 or less in weight – with these two trends added to the age stat, then the Andrew Balding-trained NATE THE GREAT (e/w) – ticks a lot of boxes. This 5 year-old has been handed draw 7 and with 9-2 looks to have the perfect racing weight. He’ll he fitter than most after a good run at Musselburgh last month and will stay this 2m2f trip well. David Probert rides for the yard that also won this race in 2017. Dr Marwan Koukash loves to win this race so his Reshoun can’t be ruled out either from draw 5 and hails from the Ian Williams yard that won this in 2018 too. Mark Johnston is another yard that often do well here and they won this race when it was last run in 2019 – they run Rochester House, Trumpet Man, Lucky Deal and Themaxwecan – all four have to be respected. They’ve booked jockey Andrew Breslin to ride and claim a handy 5lbs too. Ryan Moore catches the eye riding another Ian Williams runner – Cardano (drawn 1) – but continues to creep up the handicap and is another 4lbs higher for his recent second to Themaxwecan at Musselburgh. Rare Groove and course winner Future Investment are others to consider if able to overcome wide draws, but the booking of Frankie Dettori to ride the Dermot Weld-trained FALCON EIGHT (e/w) is interesting. The pocket Italian’s only win in this race came in 1991, but he rewarded punters with a win in the 1000 Guineas last weekend and is the best man to have in the saddle if they are going to overcome the 10 draw. This 6 year-old has not been out since June last year, but he’s a proven Listed Class winner and has also run well in many Group races. 9-10 in weight doesn’t make life easy, but he’s got that burden for a reason – he’s the clear top-rated in the field and certainly brings a bit of class to this year’s race.  

3.15 – Boodles Conditions Stakes Cl3 (3yo+) 5f ITV4

7/7 – Drawn in stalls 3-8 (inc)
6/7 – Carried 8-13 or more in weight
6/7 – Had won at Chester before
5/7 – Winners from stalls 3 (3) or 6 (2)
5/7 – Irish bred
5/7 – Ran in the last 4 weeks
5/7 – Unplaced last time out
5/7 – Aged 5 years-old
4/7 – Rated 100+
3/7 – Winning favourites
3/7 – Trained by Tom Dascombe
2/7 – Ridden by Richard Kingscote
0/7 – Winners from stall 1
The average winning SP in the last 7 runnings is 6/1

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: A royal runner here with the Andrew Balding-trained King’s Lynn in the race. Ryan Moore is a plus in the saddle and a recent close third at Newbury was a solid return run – he can go well. However, he’s got a bit to find on the ratings and on these terms with the 106-rated EL ASTRONAUTE, who is also one of just two proven CD winners in the field. This 8 year-old is having his 55th career run and despite not getting any younger showed last season he’s still running to a good level and is a horse that’s also gone very well fresh in the past so the 242-day break isn’t a worry. Draw 4 looks fine with only 7 runners and he’s taken to get back to winning ways at a track he’s always run well at in the past. Of the rest, it would be a big shock if the likes of I’ll Be Good, Celerity and Prince Of Rome are good enough, so Brian The Snail and Ainsdale can fight it out for the places along with the already mentioned King’s Lynn.

3.45 – Retraining Of Racehorses Handicap Cl2 1m2 1/2f ITV4

11/11 – Won at least twice before
10/11 – Carried 9-1 or less in weight
10/11 – Returned 13/2 or shorter in the betting
10/11 – Had won over 1m2f (or further) before
10/11 – Aged between 4-6 years-old
9/11 – Drawn in stall 6 or lower
9/11 – Placed favourites
8/11 – Rated between 90-95
8/11 – Placed in the top 5 last time out
4/11 – Won last time out
3/11 – Winning favourites
2/11 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: With 9 of the last 11 winners drawn in stalls 6 or lower, then his is bad news for Fox Tal, Into Faith and Dark Pine, who all have high draws. 10 of the last 11 winners also carried 9-1 or less in weight – just two fall down here, Fox Tal and Trais Fluors. The Ian Williams-trained Restorer will be popular carrying the Koukash silks and is a past CD winner too. He was last seen winning here last September and should go well, but he’s 9 years-old now and the horse that was a shorthead second that day – LAWN RANGER (e/w) – is taken to reverse that form. This Michael Attwater runner is also a CD winner and will be a lot fitter for a recent fifth at Kempton at the end of March. He’s dropped 2lbs for that run and is also now back to his last winning rating. With only 8-7 to carry, plus a fair draw in 6, then he can go well with PJ McDonald riding. Of the rest, the Ryan Moore-ridden ALTERNATIVE FACT (e/w) is the other to have an interest in. The Ed Dunlop yard are going well at present and this 6 year-old put in some solid performances during 2020 to suggest he can go well in what doesn’t look the best renewal of this race.

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