The final day of Chester’s May meeting and it’s the big one as it features the 188BET Chester Cup. It’s a race I've never won and I’d love nothing more than to break my duck this year as it carries the name of my sponsors.
I’m thrilled to have been asked to ride Dubawi Fifty for trainer Karen McLintock who looks to have a leading chance. I’ve yet to ride the five-year-old, but he’s been in great form since finishing fourth in last season’s Cesarewitch rattling off two wins and a narrow third last time. He’s got an okay draw in stall ten and I’m hoping he can give me a nice spin. There are obviously plenty of dangers in a 17-runner race with Magic Circle and Time To Study looking two to look out for.
My day kicks-off with a nice ride for local trainer Tom Dascombe in the opening Crabbie’s Earl Grosvenor Handicap (1.50pm). Mickey is another I am yet to ride, but the way he ran on over six furlongs at Wolverhampton last time suggests that this step up in trip will be perfect.
I suppose the one negative with him would be his draw in stall 12 which won’t make things easy. I’ve been saying all week how important a low stall draw and we will need some luck. However, sometimes they go too quick up front and the ‘cut away’ in the home straight now means there is more room to manoeuvre late on.
I haven’t got a ride in the Homeserve Huxley Stakes (2.25pm) where Eminent should be pretty hard to beat on his seasonal reappearance as a four-year-old. He’s very smart on his day and I finished fifth on him in last year’s Eclipse at Sandown.
The draw hasn’t done me too many favours in the Boodles Diamond Handicap (3.00pm) either where I have landed stall eight with Grand Inquisitor for Ian Williams. He was well beaten on his only start here last summer but seems to have benefited from the step up in trip and today’s trip looks ideal. He is 13lbs higher than when bolting up over this distance at York last October, but can go well if in the same form.
I don’t ride in the last three races of the day as I’m flying off to ride a couple at Ascot. Kachy should be hard to catch in the conditions sprint (4.05pm) despite being drawn out wide. Double Up finished second here last year and may give Kachy the most to think about again.
The last race of the meeting is the 188BET Chester Plate which is the consolation race for the Chester Cup. Topweight Byron Flyer has a good draw and looks a leading player, as does Alan King’s Coeur De Lion despite being drawn in stall 12.
He was only just denied at Newbury last time and races here off the same mark. Connections have put cheekpieces on for the first time and if they can bring about a tiny bit of improvement and he gets the breaks, he can go close.