Chester Preview – Thursday

Day 2 of the Chester meeting sees the Ormonde Stakes take centre stage where St Leger winner Kew Gardens will be very difficult to beat. The under card consists of a competitive looking Dee Stakes and it promises to be a good days racing.

Gateley Handicap

Alfredo Arcano

Copper Knight was ultra-consistent last season and proved that a mark of 100 shouldn’t be beyond when finishing fourth on seasonal debut last month where he was short of room close to home. This course and distance winner looks sure to come on from that and must be competitive.

The Richard Fahey stable has been firing in the winner of late and he’s doubly represented by Growl and Fool For You here. If Growl came back to any sort of form then he’s very well handicapped and although he’s never won at Chester, he has run some very good races here. Fool For You comes into the race with a very different profile having progressed nicely through the sprinting ranks and must enter calculations.

The other runner of note is the Irish-raider Alfredo Arcano who competed with credit in Meydan earlier in the season before possibly paying the price for trying to go with the classy Kachy on All Weather finals day at Lingfield. The David Marnane trained colt still emerged with plenty of credit and should not be underestimated.

Selection: Alfredo Arcano – E/W

Dee Stakes


Yet another race that Aidan O’Brien has an enviable record in having won five of the last seven renewal, with the likes of Magician(2013) and Cliffs Of Moher(2017). The maestro of Ballydoyle runs Mohawk and Circus Maximus this year with the latter seemingly the better-fancied of the pair by virtue of being the choice of Ryan Moore. He was fourth in the Futurity Trophy at the backend of last season behind stablemate Magna Grecia which is the best piece of form in the race and he’s the one to beat.

Mohawk won last season’s Royal Lodge at Newmarket and if you put a line through his Dewhurst run then he will prove tough opposition for his stablemate.

Silvestre De Sousa has enjoyed a fantastic start to the season and part of this success can be attributed to his new position as stable jockey to the King Power operation. Fox Chairman was one of these winners in the middle of last month where he was slow out of the stalls but powered home to win on debut. Andrew Balding’s charge looks very exciting and could be anything.

Of the others, Living Legend is chasing a four-timer and may just take this step up in his stride.

Selection: Fox Chairman

Capital Handicap


This race looks next to impossible to figure out with the majority of the runners holding some sort of chance. It’s not surprising that a Richard Fahey horse heads the market given the current stable form and King Of Tonga looks the right favourite. He has yet to finish out of the first three in five starts including when only just beaten at Chester last season. He began this season with a runner-up finish at Beverley and although he’s gone up six-pounds for that, he could prove hard to beat.

Drogon likes to race prominently and with a favourable draw, he could make them all go a bit. He’s two-pounds lower than when just missing out over this course last season and has a chance.

Another Tom Dascombe horse with claims here is Metatron who is the pick of stable jockey Richard Kingscote. This Dark Angel gelding needs to up his form significantly if he’s to feature having disappointed on a first turf start at Ripon most recently. That being said he was so impressive on debut there must be latent ability and it’s far too early to write him off.

Others of note include the hat-trick chasing Oasis Prince, Forseti and Pacino.

Selection: King Of Tonga

Ormonde Stakes

Magic Circle winning the Chester Cup

This race looks like a penalty kick for the St Leger winner Kew Gardens who ended last season with a fine seventh in the Arc which in fairness to Kew Gardens is a graveyard for St Leger winners. He was well beaten in a listed event at Newmarket on seasonal debut last year which is a slight worry but should be up to winning this.

Magic Circle was a runaway winner of the Chester Cup on his first start for Ian Williams last season before going on to win a Group event at Sandown. Connections set their sights on the Melbourne Cup following that victory but he was ultimately well beaten. In general, he runs well fresh but I don’t think he’s quite up to beating Kew Gardens here.

Of the remainder, Morando dead-heated with Young Rascal in a Group 3 at Newbury when last seen in October and although he’s a nice type, I don’t see him being good enough here.

Selection: Kew Gardens


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