Horse Racing: Chester – Wednesday 8th May Tips and Betting Preview

After a wonderful weekend of the 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, the flat racing continues this week as the build-up to Royal Ascot begins to intensify with a top quality meeting at Chester which begins on Wednesday.

The Cheshire Oaks and the Chester Vase are the two key races on the card on the opening day of the meeting but with just six runners in each we are turning our attention to a couple of races either side of those featured pair.

1.30 Chester


The opener is a 6 furlong handicap for 3 year olds.  There’s a big field of 14 & therefore it’s unsurprising the first 3 in the market are drawn 1, 2 & 4.  Beyond Borders & Old Chums are drawn 1 & 2 and both should go well, with the former preferred.  There’s a slight question mark over the latter & whether he may need some help from the handicapper.  Auric could make up into a useful handicapper but this trip is probably a bit sharp with better claims held by Winged Messenger who ran well here last year from a wide draw.


Despite the wider than ideal draw in 10, I think Al Shabab Storm has the most solid claims & could have easily been half his current odds from a low draw.  On his second run, at Newmarket, he split a pair of horses rated in their 90s (our selections get in off 86 here) & then won a Goodwood novice in fine style by over 2 lengths with one of today’s rivals, Billy Webster, 7 lengths back & now 2lbs worse off.  He stepped up into Listed company for his last run & was backed into favourite but finished 4th of 9.  That was no disgrace in conditions that didn’t suit, especially as the winner was rated 104.   You can also use the fact he beat a horse rated 101 by almost 9 lengths so depending on how you view the form, he could be thrown in here.  He was slightly disappointing on reappearance when again backed into favouritism but maybe he needed the run & found the 7 furlong trip stretching him.  Back in trip, eased in grade, trained by a yard in top form & with one of the best in the business aboard, he looks a great each way bet if the draw is no hindrance..


Back Al Shabab Storm (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 8.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)

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4.45 Chester


A 7 furlong handicap with a maximum field of 14 expected to line up & it’s no surprise to see horses drawn low in 1 & 4 towards the head of the market.  Drawn 1 is On A Session who doesn’t win often but was in the winners enclosure a year ago off 2lbs higher but the percentage call is probably to oppose especially given the fact he’s not the quickest from the gate so his draw may not be the advantage it’s seen as.  G’Daay, from stall 4, is much more solid & I’d expect him to go well.  It’s hard to see him out of the places but feel that odds of around 13/2 are a little skinny.  However, the favourite here has an awful draw in 12 but Divine Libra has to be feared as he’s trained by Charlie Hills & has Buick aboard but 5/2 looks terrible value in a race where he’s sure to be ridden for luck.


I wouldn’t rule out Princess Shabnam if she lasts home but Legal Reform is the one that will carry our hopes.  A winner last time out at Lingfield when finishing half a length in front of Sandy Paradise, with the runner up franking the form next time out when winning a handicap off 1lb higher coming clear by almost 2 lengths & having G’Daay almost 4 lengths back in 4th.  A 3lb rise for that win is not excessive & whilst he hasn’t won off a mark so high, I get the impression it’s well within his limits.  He’s drawn in 6 which is fine & his prominent style of racing will be well suited here.   Above all though, his chances are enhanced by his form on sharp tracks over this trip versus form elsewhere.   He’s a completely different animal when faced with a track like Chester, Catterick or Lingfield, with his sharp track record over 7 furlongs reading 6 wins & 10 further places from just 18 starts versus 0 wins & 2 places from 12 starts elsewhere.  Provided his mark is still deemed as a winning one, I can’t see how he won’t be there at the business end of proceeding so the odds definitely appeal & he’s one to keep on side.


Back Legal Reform (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 Bet365 BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)