3.10 Chester: Handicap (Class 2, 5f)
A very competitive Sprint Handicap that should be fast and furious. Plenty of pace in it and the rain softened ground will make it a tough finish. One of those who’ll be bang there is B Fifty Two. He’s two from two at Chester, goes well on softish ground, can win over five as well as six furlongs and has the benefit of a good draw. Slight downside is the current handicap mark. It looks still a bit high. He won off 96 here over 6f last season but couldn’t confirm this performance in subsequent starts.
The only filly in the race, Blithe Spirit, must have a huge chance. She is very speedy but can win over six furlongs too. She loves it soft and she has been successful in three from six outings at Chester. She is only 3lb higher than when winning at this meeting last year and her performance on her seasonal reappearance must rate a strong piece of form. She was only beaten by 109 rated Spinatrix while giving 14lb away to the favourite on ratings. The third of the race has won subsequently. Expect Blithe Spirit to come on a bit for the run.
From the bottom of the weight scale it is Come On Dave who’ll have plenty of supporters here. He won well on the All-Weather and looks on a good turf mark right now, given the fact that he is 2lb lower than when winning at Chelmsford. He has pole position drawn in 1 and will not hesitate to go on. He has to show that he can translate his AW form now to turf though as he struggled off lower in lesser races last season.
Veteran Noble Storm isn’t entirely out of this while Ballesteros looks to be on a very good mark if he could find somehow back to his former best. Piazon is only 2lb above his last winning mark and likes it soft, but has to improve a bit to be competitive here. Lexi’s Hero goes well at Chester but may find the minimum trip a bit too sharp these days.
From a handicapping point of view I believe the filly comes out on top. She has room for improvement, should improve for her recent outing as she did last year too when she scored over CD. She won impressively off only 3lb lower but ran in her seasonal reappearance probably to something like 94 I reckon. Conditions are in her favour here and the draw no problem – she looks a big price at 5/1.
Blithe Spirit @ 5/1 Betfred – 5pts win