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13:50 Chester A difficult opening to proceedings with three last time out winners and a number of likely improvers on show. Requinto Dawn won a division of the Brocklesby by over two lengths on debut and was well clear of the field when second next time out. He should be in the mix but is passed over today as his victory came on good-to-soft ground. Black Orange was third to Requinto Dawn in the Brocklesby but has improved for each of his three career runs while Yogi’s Girl improved from an average debut to score at Windsor last month and both look likely to make their presence felt. Preference however is for Emilia James who was an impressive all the way winner at Beverley on good-to-firm ground last month, winning by four lengths and looking like a filly to keep on side of. Emilia James (WIN)

14:25 Chester Perhaps not the most exciting of selections for this race but given that Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner five times in the last nine years and Ryan Moore is looking to bring up his hat-trick it seems the logical choice to go for Alluringly. He improved for the step up in trip last time out, winning a Tipperary maiden by over four lengths with the rest of the field almost ten lengths further back, beating a heavily supported Dermot Weld runner in the process. Enable was beaten by her stablemate last time out but was a convincing winner at Newcastle on debut, a race that has produced three subsequent winners, while Roger Varian has been firing in the winners in recent weeks so his filly Tansholpan, a winner on debut and not disgraced when placed at listed level on just his second run, also deserves a mention. Alluringly (WIN) – NAP

15:00 Chester El Astronaute had started to become somewhat frustrating in 2016 until finally winning in August, his ninth race of the year. He opened his 2017 account at the first time of asking, just beating the re-opposing Majestic Hero in the process, and with course form in his locker the early favourite has to be high on the shortlist. The aforementioned Majestic Hero was just touched off by El Astronaute when they last met but went one better next time out, winning a shade cosily under a patient ride by Jamie Spencer. He’s gone up 4lbs for that victory but looks closely matched with the early favourite and won’t be far away. At a slightly bigger price i’m opting for Sir Maximilian who won this race in 2014 and has an excellent record at Chester, posting two wins and a second from three course and distance runs. His last victory came off a mark of 112 and racing today off a mark of 103 he looks a viable each way alternative to the two market principles. Sir Maximilian (E/W)

15:35 Chester Suegioo won this race in 2014 but has raced twenty three times without success since, while Nakeeta was a very close second in this race last year but has also been beaten by a couple of her re-opposing rivals here. Golden Spear has won on good-to-firm ground earlier in his career but all recent victories have come on easier ground than he is likely to encounter here, while Watersmeet has been in great recent form but is arguably better on the all-weather. Early favourite Sea Of Heaven has course form to his name and has placed twice over similar trips to what he encounters here but usually needs his first run of the season to blow away the cobwebs so preference is for Blakeney Point who has won three of his last four including one here at Chester and runs for a Roger Charlton yard who have started the season with a good few winners. Blakeney Point (WIN)

by Dean Kilbryde


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