Chester Cup Day is always the highlight of the season in the Roodee and this year’s feature event looks as competitive as ever.
Marwan Koukash has a remarkable record as an owner in the Chester Cup and he won it again last year with Magic Circle. It’s unclear whether he’s going to run in the race this year (also entered in the Ormonde Stakes Thursday) but he must have rock solid claims if he does take up his engagement and is priced at 14/1.
He could hardly have been much more impressive when bolting up in the race last year and he will get the talented apprentice Cieran Fallon claiming 7lb off his back.
While the seven-year-old wasn’t see to best effect in the Melbourne Cup last time out, that clearly wasn’t his running and he should be thereabouts if he bypasses Thursday’s race in favour of this.
Austrian School is the 4/1 favourite but Cleonte appeals at 11/2. He was an excellent third when last seen behind the classy Dee Ex Bee and the six-year-old could be a stayer to follow throughout this season. Due to go up 4lb when the handicapper has his say, he’s sure to be well in here and he’s seen at his best in big field handicaps such as the Cesarewitch.
Last year’s Cesarewitch winner takes his place in the field and he could be the best of the Irish raiders but there has to be a concern with regards to the ground given his sire’s (Champs Elysees) liking for a sound surface. He gets the services of Ryan Moore and the former Champion Jockey will have to be at his very best if he’s going to get the better of his wide draw (17).