Top commentator Simon Holt has two bets for Chester Cup day including in the big race itself where he is counting on an in-form team to do the business.
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There are several well handicapped runners - horses who are set to carry more weight in the future - in Friday's Sportpesa Chester Cup but CLEONTE is the one who appeals most.
Andrew Balding's progressive stayer, who is drawn one on the inside rail, has gone up 4lb for finishing third behind Dee Ex Bee on his reappearance in last week's Sagaro Stakes at Ascot but can race off his old mark here.
Last season, the French import got better as the year progressed winning at the Shergar Cup meeting at Ascot in August and then staying-on into third behind the re-opposing Low Sun in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket (Speedo Boy sixth, Making Miracles 12th, Whiskey Sour 22nd, Fun Mac 29th).
With Low Sun off the course since and drawn 17, I fancy those placings can be reversed and, given that Cleonte has form on various surfaces and is likely to see out every yard of this stamina test, a bold show is confidently expected providing Silvestre de Sousa gets a clear run round the inside.
Also well weighted is the likely favourite Austrian School who is 5lb well in under a 3lb penalty for thrashing his rivals by six lengths at Musselburgh last month.
Mark Johnston's strapping stayer, a half brother to dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll, has obvious claims but he looks a horse best suited to courses with long straights to me and, while he has form with some give in the ground, his improvement over the past 12 months has come on a better surface.
There are various other runners who have run well here before such as Montaly, the winner in 2017, Who Dares Wins, fourth and third in the past two runnings, and Fun Mac, third and second for the last two years, but all are getting on in years now.
In the Boodles Diamond Handicap, AASHEQ can improve on a decent course record.
Tim Easterby's gutsy son of Dubawi made a successful seasonal debut at Pontefract last month and then was only headed 100 yards from the finish at Epsom before finishing third behind Mountain Angel and the re-opposing Aquarium (beaten since).
Aasheq's form at Chester includes a ready course and distance victory in late May of last year and a second over a possibly too-far mile and three furlongs in July. Ground versatile and clearly in good form as he was in the first half of the 2018 campaign, David Allan's mount looks sure to run well.
Preview posted at 1715 BST on 09/05/2019