The race directly after the Northumberland Plate is a handicap ran over 1m2f and features a couple of interesting runners from a betting perspective and from a value viewpoint too. The first one to consider is Interconnection that Martin Harley takes the ride on. The horse ran a creditable race at York the last day over a couple of furlongs further and you would have to think this drop back in trip will suit as he stayed on but was headed by a horse with a touch more stamina over that trip. That was an Apprentice race too so the horse hasn’t gone up in the weights and is a very interesting prospect.
The next horse that really took my eye was San Cassiano. Again this is another horse that has been left off by the handicapper, indeed dropping in the weights for this step up in class. The horse won the last day over at Redcar on good ground and with the forecast for a repeat of that ground and the in-form James Sullivan on board the horse could be good value each way at 7/1.
The last horse that is worth noting is Red Inca for Brian Ellison. This is the trainer’s local track and his horses are in terrific form including landing a gamble at this track last night with the same jockey used here on Northgate Lad. Indeed, both Ellison and Mark Johnston have been espousing the quality of Silvestre de Sousa recently and the former will be hoping he can land another decent prize here.
This is quite an open heat in the class 4 division ran over the minimum trip. One thing you almost always need to have at Chester is a low draw. The course can be tricky for horses with it’s twists and turns running left handed. It’s also a very sharp track so getting the lowest possible draw allows your horse to run the shortest distance by some margin. Groundworker has the plum draw in this contest and therefore is the first horse worth noting. He is running almost a stone lower than the top weight and that again must put him in the frame but the recent form is nothing to write home about even with the aid of some top jockeys.
Jack Luey may be another worth considering but his draw in 7 could prove a bit of an obstacle especially as there is little time to get across to a decent position. He clearly prefers 5f to 6 and has run a very creditable 2nd at this course the only time he ran here and that was over 6f. He has plenty of form over the minimum trip and at 7/1 he could be a very good each way price.
Noble Asset is an out and out sprinter too and will be tough to beat on the pick of his old form. The only worry could be that he has also not won at this course, yet much like Jack Luey he has at least some form at the track and that can go a long way. As punters we will at least know he will handle the track. With his low draw, decent price in the market and 9 places (including 3 winners) in 17 starts he makes most appeal each way.
Noble Asset (E/W)
8 of the last 9 Irish Derbies have been won by Aidan O’Brien and the Ballydoyle supremo comes into this with a 1 in 2 chance of landing the spoils. He doesn’t, however, train the favourite Jack Hobbs and at 5/6 that could be unreal value if the horse runs to his true form. Out of 4 runs to date he has won twice and only beaten by Derby winner Golden Horn on his other two outings. That form alone makes him the outstanding candidate in this field and really if he runs to his true potential you would think he would have the beating of the others.
Storm the Stars is an interesting contender too and the horse out of Sea the Stars and beautifully bred ran very well in the English Derby and was behind the favourite and the winner in that race. That is strong form and whilst there appears to be no strong reason to suggest that form will be turned around, he is a much better proposition from a betting point of view.
Storm The Stars (E/W)