There should be a strong pace here with Bahamian Sunrise, Lydia’s Place and the blinkered Farleigh Mac likely to set it up for something coming from off the pace. With both the yards of Stuart Williams and Amanda Perrett not amongst the winners, the temptation would be to avoid Shamshon and Kasbah and have a little on either the veteran Monsieur Joe who is looking dangerously well handicapped or Majestic Hero, both are available @ 7/1.
This looks a really good opportunity for Mark Johnston’s improving three year old Cape Coast under the king of Chester Franny Norton. The form of his second at Ascot looks strong after Bin Battuta went close in the Melrose Handicap last weekend at York. Presuming he does not involve himself in a protracted battle on the front end with stablemate Curlew River and Tim Easterby’s My Reward, the 9/2 looks good value. There will likely be good support for Sir Michael Stoute’s only runner on the Roodee, Shraaoh, but he needs to find more on our figures though the extra furlong should suit. Who Dares Wins looks the biggest threat to Cape Coast, already a course winner Alan King’s five year old has run well on both flat starts this season and should be finishing strongly, with the only worry that the trip may be on the short side.
Masar and Rominsed set the standard in the Solario Stakes with a number of lightly raced types of interest, not least Purser. Masar, third in the Chesham behind September and Nyaleti should have improved on that run and trainer Charlie Appleby thinks he has class. He is the one to beat @ 2/1. Romanised tends to dwell in the stalls and could be worth trying at seven furlongs even if he does not look like he is crying out for it but he has improved with every run and warrants respect. Due to connections rather than the level of form of his debut, Purser may be a little short in the market @ 10/3 but represents potential. If allowed an uncontested lead a worthy alternative to the fancied horses is Connect, who readily beat Westerland over course and distance in a good time with the 6/1 tempting. Vintager is another who could go well at a value price after winning a fair Newmarket maiden on his debut.
A fiercely competitive handicap but the pace looks like being a slow one with only Love Dreams likely to take them along. This could cause the all too familiar traffic problems often experienced at Chester and Sharp Defence, a suffer of these last time he visited the course, will be hoping for a smoother passage and has definite claims. Breakable, Fingal’s Cave and War Glory have been running well of late and are suited by tight turning tracks but may need a little rain to be seen at their best. Khamaary looked one to follow earlier in the season but has not gone on from the early promise while old timers Sound Advice, Intransigent and Gabrial should give their running with Gabrial’s trainer Richard Fahey also saddling course lover Penwortham who could be a bit of value @ 10/1.
With Tisbutadream and the improving Lincoln Rocks in the field the pace should be honest, the latter, if not going too fast is an interesting contender. Nathra looks to be retunring to her French Guineas form of 2016 after a good effort in the Hungerford Stakes and looks primed for a big run @ 9/2. On Her Toes looks the pick of the three year olds but needs to improve to challenge the main protagonists. That said three year olds have won eight of the last ten renewals so serious consideration should be given to the younger generation. Aljazi should go well for Marco Botti but may have been flattered finishing so close to Qemah in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Ascot while Intimation should be on the premises @ 5/1. A ‘slow burner’ for Sir Michael Stoute, just like her half-brother Mutakayyef who did not realise his potential until five years of age, her best days are ahead of her. At a bigger price Dancing Breeze looks a ‘bridle horse’ and could go well @ 18/1 under Jim Crowley who excels with these types.
2016 winner Alpha Delphini lines up again in the Beverley Bullet but this time will have to overcome a wide draw and though it has been done before, 7/1 is a little short to take the risk and the same applies to Judicial who has been in good form this year. Take Cover and Kimberella are drawn well and should set a good honest pace but both seem to prefer a fast five furlongs and Beverley is a testing course so they may just wane at the finish leaving it for a late closer. Paul Midgley could well have the answer with both Final Venture and Line Of Reason likely to stalk the pacesetters, the former was fourth in this last year from a bad draw and even though stall seven is not ideal can go well @ 5/1. Line Of Reason may have been a little below par since winning the Gosforth Park Cup at Newcastle in June but the way the race is run could suit, he goes well at Beverley and 12/1 is a sporting price.
The in-form horses all seem to be drawn wide which is almost impossible to overcome at Chester giving Spring Loaded, Confessional and the hard to win with Taexali little or no chance (famous last words). There is plenty of pace on but El Astronaute and Blithe Spirit will have to break quickly to get across for the lead and will likely bump into Poet’s Society who could blast out from stall one, is interesting dropping back to five furlongs and tempting @ 7/1. Another at a fair price is Verne Castle who should sit close to the pace and will like the tight turns though his turf form leaves a lot to be desired. East Street Revue and Willytheconqueror are worth consideration but both have no experience of sharp tracks while Powerallied can go well @ 10/1 from a low draw for Richard Fahey who has won this race twice in recent times.
There are plenty with question marks hanging over numerous runners in this and it looks like going to one of the younger less exposed types. With the free going Monarchs Glen and Noble Ridge setting the fractions the improving and course winner Silver Ghost can track the leaders and enjoy a good tow into the race. He hasn’t looked back since changing yards to Eve Johnson-Houghton and it looks like there is more to come. In a similar vein is Thundering Blue after a comfortable win in class two company last time and maybe just edges it over Silver Ghost with the 8/1 pretty fair about both. In their way is Across Dubai who was a little out of his depth in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and back on a sounder surface can carry on his upward curve to be competitive @ 4/1. The same can be said of course and distance winner Euginio @ 8/1 who found the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes on good to soft too hot at Haydock and will be happier back in handicap company. At a price Mutarakez can go well @ 25/1 for Brian Meehan and Silvestre De Sousa.
Reuben’s Best Bets:
Cape Coast – 2.10 Chester – 1pt win @ 9/2
Connect – 2.25 Sandown – 1pt win @ 6/1
Poet’s Society – 3.20 Chester – 1pt win @ 7/1