Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 18:00 05/05/2015
Wednesday sees the opening day of Chester's May meeting with the highlight being the Betway Chester Cup at 3.10 in which our two ante-post selections, both owned by Dr Marwan Koukash and trained by Richard Fahey, have had mixed luck regarding the all-important draw. While David Nolan's mount Duke Of Clarence has drifted in the betting from 14-1 to 20-1 after being drawn in the car park (stall 19), Gabrial's King and Franny Norton (tipped at 16- ) are now a general 7-1 chance following sustained support and handily berthed in stall 3.
The seven-race card also features an informative Oaks trial at 2.40 but it is the Boodles Diamond Handicap at 3.45 which appeals more for the best bet of the day. The extended five furlong sprint is sure to be run at a fierce pace with several front runners in the race but it is the Charles Hills-trained top weight B Fifty Two who is taken to come out on top at the 11-2 available with William Hill.
The six-year-old is two from two on the Roodee, the most impressive being an all-the-way victory last August off a 4lb lower mark when beating the decent Dungannon by three and three quarter lengths despite being eased considerably towards the finish. A reproduction of that effort should enable Frankie Dettori's mount to keep his perfect record on the course as the Dark Angel gelding is likely to be spot-on following a pipe-opener on Lingfield's all-weather back in March.
The horse in stall 1, Come On Dave, is sure to press for the early lead but Cathy Gannon's mount has over ten lengths to make up on the selection going back to last June over course and distance and is 1lb worse off at the weights. A bigger danger may be another course specialist in Blithe Spirit ( Chester form 2-4-1-1-1-4 ) who is only 3lb higher than when winning at this meeting 12 months ago. In the event that the leaders cut their own throats up front the horse to take advantage could be the Richard Fahey-trained Ballesteros who is well handicapped, will appreciate the ease in the ground but has been unlucky with the draw in stall 9.
1 Point each-way B Fifty Two 11-2 William Hill.