Wednesday 4 May 2011

1:45 Chester (4th May) - Result

The three day Chester meeting opens with the Lily Agnes over 5f.

Prize money of  £9,970 to the winner makes this is a competitive heat.

This idiosyncratic course can make the difference between winning & losing - a low draw can be a significant advantage.

Seven of the nine runners have attained a winning level of ability, the other two capable sorts.

This race comprises of two-year-olds of varied levels of form. Many of those to have won have taken advantage of restricted race types, which may negate against their chances today. It is important to appreciate - however unlikely - that a winning juvenile has potential to improve with racing and reason Jawking, Mousie & Van Go Go may be capable of better although it would seem they face a stiff task.

Four juveniles stand out in this field.

Lily's Angel has won two from two races so far and a by all accounts a progressive filly. This daughter of Dark Angel may have been a cheap purchase at £8,000 but Middleham Park Racing know a decent juvenile and certainly had the money down on debut. Stonefield Flyer (who she beat last time) won well at Newcastle yesterday and that certainly adds to her merit. It says a lot for a filly to beat a capable colt and Fahey's youngster has a leading chance. The Lily Agnes is a tough race to win - there will be no hiding place. Aptly named, Lily's Angel could well be heading to Royal Ascot if winning today but seems little value at odds of 7/4.

He's So Cool has good credentials after winning the Brocklesby Stakes.This son of One Cool Cat reversed the form with Redair at Doncaster after disappointing on debut at Kemptom. Today Redair is better off in the weights which may bring this pair closer together. Turner's colt has plenty of pace, which is an advantage at this turning course. A juvenile with size and scope to improve with racing, he has sound each way claims although stakes races can be difficult and it doesn't pay to be too dogmatic at relatively short odds. I would only bet at double figure odds, which isn't going to happen. Turner will be hoping He's So Cool can follow in the hoof prints of The Lord who won the Brocklesby and Lily Agnes before marking himself as a talented horse. He has a fighting chance.

Redair - as stated above - is quite evenly matched with He's So Cool. A speedy filly, it was somewhat surprising she was outpaced by Turner's colt at Doncaster. This turning 5f often suits juveniles with a high levels of natural speed. From a low draw, Gannon may try to steal a lead, which could be a winning move. Will she have the ability to beat He's So Cool? It's a close call and tactics will be important.

As noted in the introduction, the draw can make the difference between winning and losing. That brings us to Beau Mistral. Paul Green doesn't train many two-year-olds but he is a talented chap. This attractive filly was beaten a few length on debut when behind He's So Cool and Redair in the Brocklesby. She didn't have much luck in running and certainly benefited from the run. What caught my attention when this daughter of Windsor Knot ran at Ripon was how she was ridden. James Sullivan gave her a tender ride that day and connections clearly hold this filly in some regard. The race at Ripon was quite restricted but the form has been bolstered by the recent success of Sweet Chillie. Beau Mistral will need the luck of the Gods on her side to win today with such a wide draw. It isn't impossible if - somehow -she can sit in a handy position. At huge odds she may be worth a few quid each way but it would rest upon lady luck shining her way. It may be a blessing if this race makes her look disappointing for a bet next time because I can see this juvenile winning in her two-year-old career.

Conclusion: Stakes races are never as straightforward as they seem. Chester suits one horse while another looks a fraction of its former self. Winning juveniles - however limited they may appear -  have the potential to do better. These three factors should be considered before looking at the main contenders. Lily's Angel and He's So Cool have the potential to be fair juveniles and no doubt if winning today will be bound for Royal Ascot. They both have sound place claims with a fighting chance of winning. Redair is closely matched with He's So Cool. A small, speedy filly, she looks the sort to be suited by this turning 5f. Beau Mistral may have a glimmer of hope at speculative odds if she can sit handy. However, it is probably best to take a watching brief with her.

HCE: ''Lily's Angel may have missed the break but she won in the style of a fair juvenile. Fahey didn't want to take this race but Middleham Park Racing had the final say and it proved correct although the trainer was certainly right in his fears this track may not suit. She is likely to go for the Hilary Needler. It was a scramble for second with Marford Missile battling away to beat Redair who ran with credit in thrid. He's So Cool had a disaster of a start. Fox didn't help his cause by running extra wide, dropping his whip, and no doubt thinking it's a day he would rather forget.Saying all that, Turner's colt proved he has ability and would have had place claims with things going his way.''