This looks brutal with course specialists aplenty, the usual draw question marks and a couple of unexposed types thrown in for good measure. Collaboration fairly bolted up at Epsom last time when beating a few of these in the process, his improvement makes him a very big player today and having handled a tricky track like Epsom, it would be a surprise if he didn’t handle the nuances of this track. Andrew Balding’s four year old is almost a sure thing to go off favourite but the handicapper has tas handed him 10 pounds penalty and so whilst heavily respected, he is difficult to advise at the odds. Tres Coronas ran a fair enough race when ninth in the Lincoln and comes here attempting to keep the prize he won last season, in essence this should be much tougher as he carries 5lbs more but his draw is encouraging and the recent rain will strengthen his chances. Gabrial’s Kaka represents an operation that specifically aim their horses here and he has previously proven he handles the track, he wouldn’t be winning out of turn if he went in but stall 13 makes life very difficult. Sennockian Star is well handicapped but has been totally out of sorts of late and whilst he is feared more than his more fancied stable companion Master Of Finance, he couldn’t be given with ay confidence. Spa’s Dancer is another whom is attractively handicapped and could well play a part but all things considered, Tres Coronas looks the each way play.
Tres Coronas (E/W if 5/1+)
Sir Michael Stoute’s horses are notoriously slow starters to the season and a few have drifted alarmingly pre race before going out like lights during the race. Cannock Chase re-appeared at Sandown and though comfortably beaten in third, he looked like the sort who would improve massively for the run. Still extremely unexposed he signed off last season with a fine victory in a Group 3 and whilst he must prove himself here, he simply cannot be opposed and looks by far the one to beat. Air Pilot has done nothing but improve and his yard know how to get one ready first time up, he probably deserves the main danger tag and is respected as such. Windchoek is tough and consistent, he would have every chance but the 5lbs he must give everything makes his task pretty difficult. Fattsota hails from a yard firing and could play a part and whilst Maverick Wave must prove he’s up to this sort of test, he has a nice profile.
Cannock Chase (WIN)
This promises to be an intriguing race despite the small numerical turnout as most have Group One entries somewhere down the line. Recently something of a benefit race for Aiden O’Brien ( Won 6 of last 8 ) Hans Holbein deserves to be the starting point. An ordinary maiden winner last time out, he has progressed nicely and could be a slow burner, the yards new association with Ryan Moore recently beared fruit in the Guineas so confidence is likely to be high. The concern for me with him however is his price, at under 2/1 he represents very little value, has been beaten at prohibitive odds before, and is no form certainty. Likely second favourite Future Empire looks one to tread very carefully with having looked a little short of tactical pace last time behind the well regarded Christophermarlowe, the cheekpieces may well sharpen him up but he does have an iffy look to him and this track is not certain to suit. Tanaaf represents master South African handler Mick De Kock, a winner at Newmarket last term his pedigree really appeals for a race of this nature but he does race very keenly and wouldn’t want to do that here. Storm The Stars is another with chances and is more than double the price of the favourite, impressive enough when beating an 88 rated one last time, he will probably have to win this to take up his Derby entry. With no tactical issues with the Haggas horse ( Made all last time ) he is taken to cause a minor upset in a race that looks tough to call.
Storm The Stars (WIN)
The curtain closer to the TV tips at Chester today looks another tricky one to decipher but Geordie George has a real good chance from his draw and his experience could prove vital. Frustrating enough to follow, he has always looked like the sort who would do better when upped to around this trip and he is handed the vote to get off the mark. Pleiades lie plenty from his yard is unexposed and will do better with time, he has very chance of laying a part but his price is likely to put a few off and he was beaten out of sight when third last time. Goring was due to run at Brighton yesterday before than meeting was abandoned due to high winds, by no means flashy he looks an honest enough sort and a big run today could well be on the cards. Billy Slater is interesting and would be even more so if strong in the market, his connections are known to land touches here so a market watch is advised.
Geordie George (WIN)