Due to a handful of non-runners we only have a quartet set to line up but it doesn’t make things any easier to figure out.
Debutante Mojomaker could be absolutely anything and is the obvious outsider but connections do love a winner here with the owner seeing his colours held aloft at this unique course on more than one occasion.
Beacon did well to win last time out and represents a Northern based trainer who is more than capable at this level.
Navello aims to make it a hat trick of victories after wins at Wolverhampton and Brighton. Likely to make the frame but that being said I cannot look past the current market leader.
Trainer Tom Dascombe sets his sights on this meeting every season with him being trained locally he loves to have a winner on the Roodee. Devious Angel should improve on his latest all-weather win and I can’t help but to see her finish ahead of her male counterparts.
DEVIOUS ANGEL (WIN)
Mark Johnson won this in 2012 and saddles Dubai Fountain for this race, who should probably the pick on the form-book. She was 4th beaten two lengths in the Fillies’ Mile behind two nice horses and the subsequent 1000 Guineas winner Mother Earth, additionally, she was just denied in Group 2 company by the Fillies’ Mile second Indigo Girl. She’s not been over this distance before but her breeding suggests that she shouldn’t be hampered by it, however so, it is still a slight concern. Moreover, you’d have to go back quite a bit of time for when a winner of this race defied a layoff.
Nicest has a pedigree to die for, by triple crown victor American Pharaoh and the enigmatic, super flighty but ultra talented Chicquita. I was taken by her on debut, were she just won over 1 mile, which I think would be a tad on the short side, given her pedigree. She ran into trouble in her next race, again over a mile, and I’m sure she will relish the step up in trip. The downside is that the form from that race isn’t exactly very strong.
Now there might be a slight hint of bias here, as Darlectable You was put up by myself in the Picks From The Paddock 60 to Follow for the season, but her pedigree and family cannot be ignored. A full sister to Too Darn Hot, Lah Ti Dar and So Mi Dar. John Gosden has a very good record in this race, most notably winning it with Enable in 2017. She should’ve won last time out and should enjoy the slight step up in trip, there is a slight question mark about the course itself but Messrs Gosden seem to think a lot of her and with any luck, we’ll see the real Darlectable You.
DARLECTABLE YOU (WIN)
14:30 Newton Abbot
An open looking handicap contest which is the probably the main feature of the Newton Abbott card.
Eritage for Paul Nicholls returns here after winning last month at Newton after winning with ease really up 7lbs for that sucess. has to be respected and considered. Lalor only ran once last season albeit last month running well at Aintree but faded quite badly in the run in probably due to a lack of a run there has been a bit of market support overnight for Kayley Woollacott you couldn't rule Lalor out despite carrying top weight.
Kauto The King is on a Hatrick but is up quite steeply in class to what he has faced last couple of times out. Hard to trust the Tizzard yard at the moment judging on last season form. The good ground will definitely suit Kauto The King if it stays good
However my each way selection is Dan Skelton horse Marracudja did have a habit of jumping left last time at ascot which is not ideal. This left-handed track should help that. A course and distance winner around here so will know his way around here. On a handy mark as well compared to a few others in this race. I just feel Marracudja is a horse you have to catch at the right time and feel today maybe his day. currently (at time of writing) is 13/2 certainly has a case to be involved at the finish and holds each way value.
A three year old, five furlong handicap on the Roodeye.
Eight runners line up here on a track where the draw is a huge factor usually to the outcome of a lot of the sprint distance events.
Showalong is going to be popular here. He had a decent campaign as a two year old, and showed he’s trained on with a respectable comeback run at Thirsk, where the ground may have been a bit lively for him. The ground at Chester is going to be on the slow side, which will suit him, and he has a decent draw in stall four.
Some of these have shown their hands already this season. One who hasn’t is Ey Up It’s Maggie. She finished her season with two respectable efforts in black type races. Any recent rain will be in her favour, and with the application of cheek pieces and a rating of seventy seven, she will be competitive despite her wide draw.
Another horse yet to appear this season is the selection. First Company comes into this on a stiff looking mark, but that’s based on the fact he was competing in much better races than this last season.
His Sires progeny usually improve with age, and First Company has an attractive looking draw here. Another positive is if any further rain falls, it will improve his chances further.
He looks a good option to go well at a nice price.
FIRST COMPANY (WIN)
The Ballydoyle team of Aidan O’Brien have a fantastic record in this Derby Trial but sadly two of his three original entrants have now been withdrawn. His sole runner Sandhurst finish sixth in The Craven stakes at Newmarket and to me it didn’t look like he was crying out for this extra trip.
To me it’s unlikely the Chester Vase will be going back to Ireland this term and the royal blue silks of Godolphin look the most likely to see their colours in the winners enclosure. Charlie Appleby and John Gosden send their Godolphin owned runners into this with both on the back of two consecutive victories. Wirko won a listed contest at Epsom on return when a head victor. The German bred three year old should relish the similar undulations here at Chester and is likely to also improve for this step up in trip. Hard to discredit and even if he weren’t to claim victory here I would rule him out of a bold run in the Derby if he returns to the scene of his most recent success.
Fellow Godolphin runner Law Of The Sea is beautifully bred and hails from a yard who know exactly what it’s like to saddle a horse for a future shot at The Derby. On paper John Gosden’s charge hasn’t achieved as much as Wirko but does have the advantage of already tasting victory over today’s trip. Unlikely to be far away but wouldn’t be the biggest shock if he were to overturn the favourite.
Uncle Jumbo hasn't won since his debut at Doncaster last June but on the whole has proved a pretty consistent runner for the Kevin Ryan stable, with his third in the Weatherby's Racing Bank 200,000 2-y-o stakes at Doncaster last September just about setting the form standard. He has to give the field upwards of 7lbs which in itself looks a tough ask, however arrives here on the back of a decent display at Pontefract last month, travelling well only to find himself short of room at a crucial stage, so the fact he stayed on and got within two lengths of the winner suggests he shouldn't be underestimated especially as he has a great draw in stall 2.
Richard Hannon tends to do well with his runners here at Chester and after the early removal of Kool Moe Dee relies on Good Listener who won on soft ground at Windsor last October and arrives here following a pipe-opener at Wolves two weeks ago. The son of dual Group 2 winner Mehmas will benefit for that run and for the step up to six furlongs, with the recent rain further aiding his cause.
Tanfantic hasn't been seen since winning on the all-weather at Lingfield in August but did win first time up on turf last season and his stable are in fine form so he's one to keep an eye on for any market confidence, however for our selection we turn to Paws For Thought who races for the Tom Dascombe stable, a team well known for targeting this early season meeting. He has only raced over seven furlongs to date, winning two with one of them coming here at Chester, however the drop back to six furlongs shouldn't hold any issues given he is a prominent runner who also possesses plenty of speed. He should be capable of breaking well from stall 6, ideally getting to the front and dictating the pace before using his stamina to hold off any and all challengers.
PAWS FOR THOUGHT (WIN)