Chester Cup Preview…
Chester kicks off it’s May meeting tomorrow and the highlight is the Chester Cup off at 3.10pm with a field of seventeen set to line up over the marathon flat trip of an extended 2 miles and 2 furlongs.
Richard Fahey and Donald McCain have been dominating this contest of late with four winners, two apiece, between them since 2007 and it was Dr Marwan Koukash, a huge supporter of Chester with horses in his ownership who has won the last two renewals with Suegioo last year and Address Unknown the year before.
Last year’s winner Suegioo is back for Marco Botti, Dr Koukash and Ryan Moore, who has just ridden the first two classic winners of the season in the 1000 and 2000 Guineas at the weekend. Off an 8lb higher mark this season and prepped in identical fashion to last year connections will hope that the race will once again fall their way and despite a tougher task, including a wider draw, is still a leading contender in the betting available at a general 14/1.
Another for Dr Koukash is Angel Gabriel who was second last year before moving up the ranks with a win in the Northumberland Plate, reversing form with Suegioo and then mixing it in Group company until a return at Ripon to ready himself ahead of a bid to go one better here this year. A class horse who will carry the weight for the improvement last term and sits second in the betting at 8/1.
The favourite is Tony Martin trained Irish raider Quick Jack, a smart horse who won at the Galway Festival, finished third in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket and then ran another big race recently at the Cheltenham Festival. Looks to have very solid credentials and Tony Martin’s runners have been in great form of late over jumps with significant pots landed at the Punchestown Festival. Versatile with ground conditions and Richard Hughes is booked from a middle draw, heads the market at a well supported 9/2f.
One that catches the eye away from the top of the market is Zafayan for Dermot Weld who was a ready winner in a prep run at Leopardstown and Weld was disappointed not to run the four year old at Cheltenham when balloted out of the intended engagement in the Fred Winter.
Lacking a little in experience perhaps but Weld who has targeted the race in the past, told IrishRacing.com. “Ansar was beaten a short head in it a few years ago (2000) before he won a couple of Galway Hurdles and he’s a interesting runner. He’s drawn seven and has a nice weight, 8st 10lb, so we’ll see. I’ve been looking at this for a while.”
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