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27th May 2024 12:14 am

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

Chester May Festival Day 2

These Donors Are AMAZING Thank You

William S – MEJi – Peter N – Nigel B – Ken C – Mark S – James D – William M – Fiona M – Julian A – Jonathan H – Mrs V.M – Pete BN – Gavin C – Thom S – Sarah C – Mark S – Sam H – James R

It was a sad day yesterday at Chester – but also pretty weird.

The weirdness emanated from the results, which even my late Nanny knew enough to exclaim as she made our breakfast after a night out with her friends from Liverpool:

“You need to have your draws down very low at Chester”

In the first, a 6f handicap, the first seven home were drawn 13-10-2-1-9-12-11. In round figures, that’s almost a total reversal of the known low-draw bias. The Lily Agnes went to Stall 6 (of 9); in the 5f handicap,  6 beat 7 (of 8); and the 7f handicap in the lucky last was 12-10-13-9-8. I cannot explain or find any reason; it might be a statistical quirk. Inevitably, I spent most of the night crunching numbers and came up with this – which is simple to utilise in the future.

Runners in a Chester May handicap under a mile (5-7½f) drawn in stalls 1-5, who ran respectably (top 9) on AWT (All Weather Track) LTO (Last Time Out),  are 38Races – 11W – 5P from 47 runners for a 93 pt profit and A/E of 1.89.

Yesterday, there were two qualifiers: OLD CHUMS in the 1:30, who was 7/1 3rd, and KINGS MERCHANT, who was 5/2F 5th of 8. Today, there are two qualifiers in the 2:35: CELTIC WARRIOR and GREY CUBAN. The first was already on my radar, and I have increased the investment accordingly.

1:30 CAA Stellar Handicap Cl2 (4yo+ 0-100) 5f 12 run

I have a short list of three. DEMOCRACY DILEMMA – CLEARPOINT – VINTAGE CLARETS. The first is 2/5 over C&D, has a lovely draw, and should be there or thereabouts. The second has been running well throughout the winter on the AWT and gave a decent performance at Epsom LTO and looks to have claims from a handy draw in stall three. VINTAGE CLARETS is just 1lb off his last winning mark and this will be the first time he’s got his ground since then.



I won’t bore you with the details, but I have two separate sources that suggest this is way overpriced at 8/1

MAMMIES BOY 5p pts e/w

2:05 British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes Cl2 (2yo) 6f 10 run

PASSING PHASE has had a run and will build on that. Jess rarely brings runners to Chester, and she has to be noted when doing so. A big effort is expected if handling the track here. An essential trend here is to have a podium and, thus, a racecourse experience. All previous winners of this race entered with racecourse experience, and RASHABAR fits the bill with a decent third at Newbury with the two places either side going on to win since. If Jess hadn’t turned up I’d have done this on its own happily… tricky… if I dutch them I get just under evens… no, I’ll go with the draw


 2:35 Halliwell Jones Handicap Cl2 (3yo 0-105) 7½f 7 run

With seven runners, a shortlist of four is excessive! NEVER SO BRAVE (5/6F) – DASHING DARCY – CELTIC WARRIOR – WITNESS STAND. The favourite will be a tough nut to crack – but he has to concede 11lbs to CELTIC WARRIOR. Oisin keeps the ride, having won on the all-weather LTO.


3:05 Boodles Raindance Dee Stakes (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 (3yo) 1m2½f 5 run

I have it down to two CAPULET and BRACKENS LAUGH. My pin and form interpretation says the latter’s C2 conditions win at Chelmsford LTO was a good prep and promised improvement. He also finished in front of Capulet so apart from the favourite being quite good, no brainer!

BRACKEN’s LAUGH 3 pts Win – 4 x 1 pt SFC to beat the field

3:40 Supporting Racing Ormonde Stakes (G3) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m5½f 7 run

The shortlist is DEAUVILLE LEGEND – ARREST – POINT LONSDALE, and I think that might be the finishing order. DL had a brilliant 3yo career and won a Great Voltigeur, a Bahrain Trophy and was 4th in the Melbourne Cup.  He gets first-time Blinkers replacing the CPs that didn’t work well LTO.

DEAUVILLE LEGEND 3 pts Win – 6 x ½ pt Trifecta

4:10 Precision Facades Handicap Cl3 (4yo+ 0-90) 1m2½f 12 run

INSPIRITUS hasn’t finished outside the first two in his last six races, and the handicapper’s extra 5lb might still not be enough to stop him. AL RUFAA has been shaping well on the AWT, and those tracks have slightly tighter configurations, which always suggests an ability to handle tight Chester. There are excuses for LTO on a track that doesn’t suit.  LOYAL TOUCH has finished in the top 2 on his last two starts on the AWT and he’s 1lb shy of his previous Turf mark on ground he likes. He looks overpriced.  BARYSHNIKOV has a C&D hat trick and comes here in good form, having won over ½f shorter at Redcar LTO.

LOYAL TOUCH – BARYSHNIKOV 3 pts e/w each. (4 places generally)

4:45 Camden Town Brewery Handicap Cl4 (3yo 0-82) 1m4½f 10 run

CONTACTO ran over 1m3f LTO and won by an easy 7l. He’s been given an extra 9lbs for his trouble, but this doesn’t look like a tricky race, and I think he’ll cope.

CONTACTO 3 pts Win

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David Cameron
17 days ago


  • 1:30 VINTAGE CLARETS 3 pts e/w 3rd 8/1 +1.80 Total: +1.80
  • 1:50 HUNTINGDON ITV4 MAMMIES BOY 5p pts e/w Won 17/2 +51.00 Total: +52.80
  • 2:05 PASSING PHASE 5 pts win 6th 4/1 -5.00 Total: +52.80
  • 2:35 CELTIC WARRIOR 4 pts Win 5th 11/2 -4.00 Total: +48.80
  • 3:05 BRACKEN’s LAUGH 3 pts Win -3.00 – 4 x 1 pt SFC to beat the field -4.00 = -7.00 2nd 11/2 Total: +41.80
  • 3:40 DEAUVILLE LEGEND 3 pts Win 4th 6/1 -3.00 – 6 x ½ pt Trifecta -3.00 = -6.00 Total: +35.80
  • 4:10 LOYAL TOUCH 2nd 9/1 +2.40 – BARYSHNIKOV 6th 9/1 3 pts e/w each -6.00 = -3.60. (4 places generally) Total: +32.20
  • 4:45 CONTACTO 3 pts Win 2nd 100/30 -3.00 Total: +29.20
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