Chester selections Friday 12th May
The final day of three at Chester and it brings the big race the Chester Cup itself. I have two suggestions for the feature, plus two more for the opening event of the afternoon.
Chester 1.30: Boardman & Ffion
This ought to be a fair old burn up with several front-runners in the field such as Percys Lad and Gweedore. As such I am looking for two fast finishers.
BOARDMAN certainly fits that bill and is twice a winner already at this track, although he was a very unlucky in running fifth last year in a much slower run event. He is very much a spring horse, all seven of his career wins have come in April or May and he looks to be coming to hand nicely having finished in midfield in the Lincoln and then more recently at Haydock.
He acts well with some cut, and with jockey Sean Kirrane able to claim 3lbs it effectively puts the 7yo on a 1lb lower mark than his last win, coming here at the end of May last season.
FFION has a terrific record fresh, so coming into this race for her first start of 2023 has to be a positive. Her first time record reads 121 and just as important her record at Chester reads 5211 including a win at this fixture in 2022 on her first start of the year.
She can be slowly away, so the fact she is drawn high won’t matter so much as it might give Hollie Doyle the opportunity to drop in and conserve energy for a late run, something that might be an advantage off a strong pace. Apart from winning here at this meeting last season, she also won at the last meeting in September and is only 3lbs higher here.
Chester 3.15: Emiyn & Call My Bluff
My two selections for the Chester Cup both made the first three in the consolation race on this day in 2022 and have drawn the plumb berths of stalls 1 and 2 for this contest.
First choice would be CALL MY BLUFF, a relentless galloper who has a fine record around Chester and loves soft ground. He warmed up for this with a clear second place to Novel Legend at Newbury last month and his chances are greatly enhanced by the fact the victor that day just missed the cut for this.
A winner here in 2021 on his first visit to the track, he was third in the consolation race last season and then was narrowly defeated by my second selection in September. I prefer Call My Bluff today though given the likelihood of softer ground which will bring out the limitless stamina he possesses to the fore. Stall 2 gives John Egan the chance to just sit behind the leader and utilise the fresh ground on the rail for today.
EMIYN has to be considered however, especially as this front-runner has been gifted the rail run from stall one. His career record at Chester reads 142421 including that September win mentioned above. I am not at all concerned about his two unplaced efforts so far this spring as they have been over shorter distances and I am certain that this race will have been the target for a long time, so he will be peaking for today.
1pt win – Boardman – 1.30 Chester – 110/30 general
1pt each-way – Ffion – 1.30 Chester – 8/1 Bet365, Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 4)
1pt each-way – Emiyn – 3.15 Chester – 10/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)
1pt each-way – Call my Bluff – 3.15 Chester – 11/2 Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 5)