Chester comes under the spotlight as Templegate tries to find a host of winners on a busy Thursday
I’M expecting VENICE BEACH to flex his muscles in the MBNA Chester Vase (3.35).
He couldn’t be better bred as a half-brother to Arc heroine Danedream by super stud Galileo. And he looks like living up to his pedigree if last month’s Tipperary success is anything to go by.
His trainer Aidan O’Brien has won this contest seven times in the last ten years and he often targets it with some of his main Classic hopes.
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1.50 CHESTER: Everything looks in a place for KHAIRAAT.
He has drawn the rails stall and is unexposed after just three races. After going down by a neck on his debut he had little trouble landing a Pontefract maiden. There was a lot to like about his Doncaster success in September and he’s still nicely weighted.
With Sir Michael Stoute starting the season in great form he will be hard to beat.
Berkshire blows hot and cold. He’s won following a break in the past but I’m not convinced this turning track is for him.
Mistiroc usually runs over further. I can’t imagine this trip around a tight course will play to his strengths.
Epsom scorer Brorocco likes to be held up. He’ll need plenty of luck.
2.25 CHESTER: Take my Word for the Huxley Stakes.
POET’S WORD looked capable of holding his own in Group races last summer. His handicap win at Glorious Goodwood is strong form and he had little trouble making a winning return on the all-weather at Chelmsford.
I’m sure Sir Michael Stoute’s hope is up to this level.
Deauville won a Grade 1 in America last year but that’s not as good as it sounds. His Sandown second to Stoute’s Ulysses two weeks ago is a better reflection of his ability but he did get a soft lead in that Group 3 contest.
He’ll have more pressure on him for the lead this time with Folkswood drawn inside him.
Royal Artillery was only fifth at Sandown. He looked in need of the run and today’s faster ground will also help. I’m expecting him to get closer to Deauville today.
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Richard Hannon reckons Barney Roy is ready to land him more Classic success in the Guineas
Barters Hill will start his chasing career this season and will take a slight drop in trip
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3.00 CHESTER: MUTAWATHEB is a sparkling bet in the Boodles Diamond Handicap.
Richard Hannon’s hope ended last season with a Doncaster success and he was unlucky when runner-up to Mailshot at Chelmsford on his return. I’m expecting him to get a prominent position and pounce down the straight under champion jockey Jim Crowley.
Arc Royal is likely to set the pace if he can get across from stall eight. He bolted up by four lengths at this track in September and it’s not impossible he could hold on again.
Via Egnatia is sure to be popular with the rails stall. But that might not be the advantage it usually is. He pulled hard on his return at Newmarket and might not see much daylight if he is settled too far back.
Areen Heart is another who is likely to need plenty of luck.
Templegate’s TV Tips
- 1.50 Chester – Khairaat
- 2.25 Chester – Poet’s Word
- 3.00 Chester – Mutawatheb
- 3.35 Chester – Venice Beach
3.35 CHESTER: VENICE BEACH should give Aidan O’Brien is fifth straight Chester Vase.
He looked good when upped to 1m4f in a Tipperary maiden last month. That was his first run when wearing cheekpieces and he was strong at the finish.
I would be surprised if there wasn’t more to come.
Cunco has already won one Derby trial. He swooped late to take the prize at Sandown two weeks ago but that wasn’t much of a race and it seemed to fall apart.
I’m more worried about Tamleek. He was impressive in a hot Newmarket maiden. The four horses in that race to have come out since all won their next start and Godolphin’s runner looks well up to this level.
5.55 Monsieur Arkadin
6.25 Heaven Scent
6.55 Trafalgar Rock
7.55 Breaking Bits
8.25 Rockabilly Riot
2.05 Mistress Of Venice
3.45 Coronation Day
4.15 Tonto’s Spirit
2.25 Poet’s Word (nap)
3.35 Venice Beach (treble)
4.35 Full Intention
5.05 Lord Franklin
2.15 Shady Glen
2.45 Ladies Dancing
3.20 Today Please
3.55 Mistress Massini
4.25 Lakeshore Lady
4.55 Charlie Cook
5.25 Mr Kit Cat (nb)