Wednesday 5 May 2010

3:55 Chester

Quite a valuable maiden over the extended 5f and a large field making a good draw all the more important. (6th May)

The majority of the field look to have a stiff task, needing to find considerable improvement and this could well go to one of the form horses.

Barry Hills has a superb record at Chester and Diamond Geezah has run creditably on his last two starts. The later at Nottingham was a strong performance and there was much to like about the way he shot clear of the field. The eventual winner, My Son Max, is a lovely looking juvenile and that was an impressive show for a two-year-old who found trouble in running and rallied in the final furlong to peg back Hills' charge. The relatively high draw is not ideal and a slight negative. It will be important for this son of Diamond Green to be well away from the stalls.

Just For Leo is another colt with experience and he certainly has enough speed to sit handy or go from the front. Evans' two-year-old was well beaten at Ripon, and even accounting for the wide draw, it was still only an average performance. At Nottingham, he travelled very well but I would have concerns about the standard of that race as very few horses even got into contention and it may have been a limited heat.

Clive Brittain had a decent winner at Doncaster (Zaidan) and his juveniles may be coming into form. Shafgaan has been fancied on both starts, which indicates he is held in some regard. The heavy ground at Folkestone found him out after showing lots of speed and once again this was on show at Newbury. That race is difficult to assess but it could be a fair. Certainly the first and second looked nice types. Shafgaan has been entered to run in a stakes race, which is another positive. From a low draw, this grey colt looks the type to enjoy Chester. The only concern is whether he will finish his race as at Folkestone and to a lesser extent at Newbury he tired in the last furlong. This may have been due to the class rather than not getting 5f although it pays to be careful as Chester is a tricky course at the best of times.

Dress Up ran much better than her odds (25/1) at Windsor when just beaten by Richard Hannon's The Sydney Arms. This was a very restricted auction race, which often means the form may be on the weak side. As yet, the race is holding up well with 5th and 6th running well since, although they must have improved for that initial performance. Kirk's filly was well in the weights that day and to all purposes this is a step up in class. I would imagine the form is just average at best and this little two-year-old may need to improve a little more.

Tom Dascombe will be boosted by the easy victory of Julius Geezer in the Lily Agnes. He talked at length about his frustration of the two-year-olds being out of form and he will be hoping they have turned the corner. Malpas Missile is a good looking filly and ran a sound race on debut. She was always up with the pace and has a battling attitude, which will see her well. The third has come out and won since and the fourth has shown ability too. The winner of the Doncaster race was in a different league to Dascombe's youngster and the standard of form would seem to be no more than fair. The negative here is the high draw (12) and this detracts from what would initially seem a bright chance.

Of the rest, Mandy's Princess is an interesting runner. She was fancied to run a big race at Lingfield earlier in the season but to all purposes disappointed that day. Hanagan didn't hold back in his efforts on debut and I can imagine connections expected much more. Fahey has a talented string of juveniles and it is intriguing to reason why this daughter of Elnadim was entered to run in the Lily Agnes. It would be no surprise to see this filly backed.

A difficult race in ways with the slight unknowns about the form for a few of the likely favourites and the draw bias could well make this a near impossible task for some. Diamond Geezah will run a big race if not hindered by the draw. Shafgaan has the speed to sit handy but may struggle to finish his race (although he looks the type to be suited by Chester). While Mandy's Princess could be a surprise package and one to consider at a speculative price on the exchanges.

Other races:
2:30 Goodwood
5:55 Ffos Las