15:15 Chester, Friday
Live on ITV4
1. Falcon Eight (Dermot Weld/ Frankie Dettori)
Swept through under Dettori to land this last season from a 5 lb lower mark and has been in good form over hurdles this year. Bold bid likely.
2. The Grand Visir (Ian Williams/ Jim Crowley)
On a long losing run (last win came at Royal Ascot in 2019) but ran a blinder behind Falcon Eight off 2 lb higher in this last year and surely primed for a big effort after a pipe-opener at Wolverhampton four weeks ago. Don’t dismiss.
3. Rajinsky (Hugo Palmer/ Harry Davies (7))
Really likeable stayer who scored again in a two-mile Ripon handicap on his return a fortnight ago. Leading 7 lb claimer booked and part of a strong hand for the yard. Got to be feared under a penalty.
4. Reshoun (Ian Williams/ Alistair Rawlinson)
Won the Ascot Stakes second time up last season. Likely to better for his return and has been given a chance by the handicapper but has not shone in two previous visits to Chester.
5. Cleveland (Aidan O’Brien/ Ryan Moore)
Won a nine-furlong Curragh maiden in the mud in November 2020, and having missed all of last year made an encouraging return at Naas. Stamina for this much longer trip is uncertain, but bred to be better than a handicapper and has to be of interest for top connections.
6. Arcadian Sunrise (John Queally/ Jamie Spencer)
Enjoyed a tremendous 2021, winning big pots at the Galway Festival and York’s Ebor Meeting (under Spencer, beat Rajinsky). This mark should be exploitable and he’s a likely type if ready to roll.
7. Coltrane (Andrew Balding/ Rob Hornby)
Off for a while after his tremendous three-year-old campaign, when he won the Melrose at York, but has been shaping up well on the all-weather and a big run back over this distance on turf could be on the way.
8. It’s Good To Laugh (Jennie Candlish/ Connor Beasley)
Successful twice over shorter here last year before a good first campaign over hurdles (won three novices). Should stay back on the level and he’s of interest.
9. Nate The Great (NON-RUNNER)
10. Torcello (Sean Lycett/ Franny Norton)
Successful twice on the level last year but was well held again over two miles when last seen and returns in a tough race with stamina to prove.
11. Morph Speed (Richard O’Brien/ Sean Davis)
Progressed well for his new yard last year, winning four handicaps. Might have needed his two runs back this term but has stamina to prove up in class here.
12. Land of Winter (Rae Guest/ George Rooke (3))
Ended 2021 on a high with an emphatic win in two-mile class 4 handicap at Nottingham. Hit with an 8 lb rise and this is much tougher on return.
13. Solo Saxophone (Alex Hales/ John Egan)
Fairly useful performer under both codes, successful in a thin two-mile Newmarket handicap in the autumn. Well held over hurdles starting out for a new trainer nine weeks ago, though, and this is no easier.
14. Solent Gateway (Hugo Palmer/ Ben Curtis)
Took a two-mile handicap here in good style last summer and caught the eye on his first run for Hugo Palmer at Epsom recently, finishing well. He’s on the same mark now and this is his first go over this sort of trip, which he leaves the impression he’ll relish. No surprise he’s been a big mover in the betting. Excellent chance.
15. Metier (NON-RUNNER)
16. Haliphon (Ian Williams/ Royston Ffrench)
Dual French winner who has made an encouraging start for this yard in 2022, not seen to best effect behind Rajinsky at Ripon a fortnight ago. This is a whole different test but he could be capable of a bigger effort still.
17. Byron Flyer (NON-RUNNER)
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