3.15 Chester: Queensferry Stakes (Listed), 6f
You can pick holes into any horse here, even the rather shortish favourite. Eastern Impact’s Royal Ascot performance sets obviously a very high standard, but earlier this season he wasn’t capable of winning a listed event. So while the drop in class is significant today, it doesn’t mean he’ll have an easy task.
With the rain falling, I like to give proven soft ground performer Canny Kool a chance here. He tries 6f for the first time and will have raise his game in order to feature. But he should be well suited by the trip on pedigree and may well be able to pull out more. He has a good draw and is usually up with the pace, which always helps at Chester.
Canny Kool @ 12/1 Betfred – 5pts Win
3.50 Chester: Class 3 Handicap, 1m
Apostle need to have things fall inch right for him in order to win, as happened exactly one year ago when he landed this very same race. He is down to the very same mark today, hasn’t been disgraced in a very hot handicap lately and therefore should be in with a fine chance here.
The draw isn’t ideal and it appears to be a deep enough race, so chances are that he may not get the all clear run he needs. But despite the quality on offer in the field, not many are well handicapped, unlike Apostle.
Apostle @ 10/1 Bet365 – 5ps Win
3.20 Galway: Ahonoora Handicap, 7f
A surprisingly lacklustre affair, with a clear lack of quality on offer. Only a handful of horses should be good enough to feature. That makes it easier to narrow down the field. Last years winner Baraweez ran well earlier this week at Festival and must have a prime chance off the same mark today. I can see why Hidden Oasis features prominently in the betting, but the step up in trip is a worry.
Beau Satchel won earlier this week and loves the track, so does old boy Pintura – both make plenty of appeal, but the money is coming in for Ger Lyons’ charge Piri Wango and there is a strong case to be made for him.
He is proven over course and distance, finished runner-up in the Topaz Mile last year and in good form lately. He’s the class act in the field with excellent Group form to his name, but that is also the reason why he has to carry top weight. It’s a tough ask but he performed well under big weights in the past and should love the conditions today.
Seven furlongs is as sharp a trip as he likes it these days, but blinkers and a good draw will clearly help to see him early in position. I believe he has a prime chance to go close today.
Piri Wango @ 7/1 Bet465 – 5pts Win