WATCHING the second lot work up the state-of-the-art gallops at Manor House Stables near Malpas earlier this week, trainer Tom Dascombe remarked: “I didn’t realise quite how important the Chester May meeting is in the area.
“We are doing our level best to have a good team of horses ready to run there. It will be hugely exciting for all the owners and staff at Manor House.”
The cold spring has had some impact and the trainer explained: “The two-year-olds seem to be needing a run and it can’t be a coincidence that the older horses such as Blue Jack and Plush have both run the races of their lives last time out.
“If there’s one horse we’d targeted at Chester it is Nemo Spirit. We bought him from a horses-in-training sale with the Chester Cup specifically in mind. Hopefully he’ll make the cut and get into the race, he’ll love the trip.
“In an ideal world we’d want some rain for him, he likes a bit of cut.”
A pillar to post winner over an extended two miles at York in June 2009 the grey was last seen out when finishing down the field in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in October.
“He’ll run well fresh but you need a good position in that race,” was Dascombe’s summary.
George Primarolo, the totesport PR manager, said: “Nemo Spirit was 20-1 when we opened our book, there’s been early support for the horse and we’ve clipped him to 12-1.” Totesport are long-standing sponsors of the historic Chester Cup and Primarolo explained: “The Chester May meeting goes from strength to strength and the Cup is bang up there as one of the best betting handicaps of the year.
“This year is no exception, the level of interest is high and the field is one of most competitive in recent years.”
The tight left-hand bends on the Roodee present an unique challenge for horses.
“Ante post punters have to second guess the draw at this stage and the book can be turned on its head if a well-fancied horse is drawn wide, that’s great from our point of view!” concluded Primarolo.
Overturn, the Scottish Champion Hurdle winner, is the other local horse with a Chester Cup entry.
The six-year-old is trained at Cholmondeley by Donald McCain, who said: “If there’s one flat race I’d like to win it’s the Chester Cup. He’s also entered in the Swinnow Hurdle, we’ll make a final decision in the next few days.”
Julius Geezer is anticipated to be the Dascombe stable representative in the opener of the three-day festival, the Lily Agnes, sponsored by Manor House stables.
The two-year-old looks fit and showed his well-being in his turn-out paddock at Manor House. The juvenile improved on his second outing in a Conditions Stakes two weeks ago when finishing fourth behind an odds-on shot from the Hannon yard.
Prize money over the three-day meeting next week is in excess of £688,000 and Chester racegoers will appreciate the extensive alterations to the winners’ enclosure that will improve the view and increase the involvement in the prize giving process.
With record advance sales experienced in recent weeks, Chester racecourse will again be the place to be as the season swings into action on Wednesday.