You know that the flat season has arrived when the Chester meeting takes place and there are some exciting races taking place including the Chester Cup.
2.05 Weatherby’s Bank Cheshire Oaks
12 fillies are entered for this 1 mile 3 furlong contest and the going is expected to be soft following the rainiest April in living memory. This Channel 4-televised race looks to be a wide open encounter, although Betterbetterbetter will go off favourite for this encounter.
The Aidan O’Brien trained charge was an impressive winner in Dundalk last month, although there are plenty of other classy animals and that includes Absolute Crackers who claimed a first career win at Cork in April.
Perhaps this is a race to search for some each-way value and Apothecary could run a big race for John Gosden, having won on the all-weather tracks of Wolverhampton and Lingfield recently.
3.05 Stan James Chester Cup
The showcase race on Wednesday looks set to be a hot renewal, with Shubaat claiming favouritism for the Chester Cup having sneaked into the race on Tuesday morning as a first reserve.
The five-year-old does look favourably handicapped carrying 8-7 and is available at 5/1 (Stan James free bets), although there are some interesting runners in the race and that includes Donald McCain’s Overturn at the other end of the weights.
The eight-year-old was last seen finishing second in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, with odds of 6/1 (Ladbrokes) available that Eddie Ahern rides him to victory in this race.
Never Can Tell will be a popular selection based on the fact that Frankie Dettori is on board and it will be interesting to see how the five-year-old runs after an absence of 214 days.
At a bigger price, Eternal Heart can run a big race, having won at Doncaster at the beginning of April before struggling at Nottingham two weeks later.