Horse Racing: Chester Cup 2024 – Big Race Tips and Betting Preview

It is the final day of the May Meeting at Chester and after a couple of days which have seen signs for the remainder of the season delivered at the Cheshire track, we are set for more of the same with another good card on Friday.

The highlight of that card is the biggest handicap of the week, the Chester Cup, and although there is a decent undercard to the main event we are concentrating on the big race when it comes to betting purposes. There are two we like.

3.40 Chester


The big handicap of the week with 16 stayers contesting the two & a quarter mile Chester Cup, and it’s refreshing to see some bookies paying 6 places on this.  Even over this marathon trip, the draw can play a part but it’s not as significant as some make out given the last 4 winners have all come from double figure draws, including ones drawn in 14 & 16.  Andrew Balding has the favourite in Aztec Empire & he’s drawn low in 14.  He has some decent staying form in the book but the fact he’s steadily rising in the handicap without getting his nose in front is slightly offputting given his odds.  Zoffee went so close to winning this last year & is 3lbs lower this year but has to get back to form as he’s shown nothing since.  Forza Orta beat Aztec Empire last summer at York by a neck & is 1lb worse off but surely he’s in calculations if you fancy the favourite.

Special Offer

Open up a Boylesports account during the flat season and bet £10 on any race to get £20 in bonuses! Click the image below to take advantage of this fantastic offer! 18+ T&Cs apply Gamble Aware.


I’m taking 2 against the field, the first being the wide drawn Duke Of Oxford.  Had he not been drawn in 16, he would have been one of the favourites for this so I’m happy to take the price & hope he gets a decent run through from the widest gate.  He has it to prove to turf given he’s done almost his running on the all weather but provided the surface is no hindrance, he has a massive chance.  He won a pair of handicaps over 2 miles at Kempton before running an absolute cracker in the All Weather Championships Marathon behind Prydwen, a race where he stayed on the best of any.   In a 13 runner race, the fact that the 5 quoted as being prominent or in touch finished 1-3-4-5-7 suggests the pace held up very well indeed so he’s got to be a winner in waiting if the race is run to suit.  A 1lb rise in mark isn’t ideal following a defeat but this feels different as, given the pace bias, it doesn’t feel like a defeat.  The yard is pretty shrewd & has had a winner & a 3rd from just 2 runners here this week; I’m hoping they can extend that record in what looks a cracking contest.

An infrequent runner on the flat but Too Friendly is too difficult to ignore here.   Primarily campaigned over hurdles where he’s won 5 times from 22 starts, he has progressed nicely for his current handler going from a mark in the low 120’s up to the high 130’s following a couple of wins & a couple of 2nds last year.  He ran on the flat in March for the first time in 3 years & was visibly impressive that day.   He was a bit keen off an ordinary pace but only needed to be asked for minimum effort to hit the front & come home a length & a half to the good.  That was off a mark of 85 & a 4lb rise looks lenient to me, especially as he should be well suited by this big field / strong pace scenario.   An eyecatching jockey booking too, off the back of a first British Classic win last week, there’s plenty in his favour & granted a clear run from his middle draw in 8, he’s sure to be in the final reckoning.


Back Duke Of Oxford (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 9.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)

Back Too Friendly (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 10.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)

Back them here: