Liverpool FC: Christmas Crack Me Up Challenge
Magic Wand was an impressive winner of the Cheshire Oaks and was cut from 33/1 to 16s for the Epsom Oaks at Epsom in the immediate aftermath of the race, but the scissors were out again and she was subsequently trimmed to 12/1.
Chester Vase winner Young Rascal is 10/1 from 33s for the Derby and I was quite taken with William Haggas’s son of Intello although he was well drawn in stall two on the Roodeye and gave the impression he would always need a bit of cut to be seen at his best.
Today’s feature is the Chester Cup one of the most valuable and prestigious handicaps on the flat calendar over an extended two-and-a-quarter-miles. Despite passing the judge three times the draw will still play its part and a low draw could be key with confirmed front-runners My Reward and Watersmeet drawn one and two.
Wednesday’s rain should ensure there is enough give for Magic Circle (3.35) a personal favourite when with Ralph Beckett and having his first start for Ian Williams.
The selection finished fifth in this corresponding race 12 months ago from stall 18 and he has a much better berth in stall six this afternoon. The gelding is 11/2 – who are paying 1/5th odds first five on the race – and I will be disappointed if he does not run very well – granted luck in running.
In the opening mile handicap, I thought Gossiping (1.50) ran a race full of promise despite finishing down the field at Newmarket last time and he has dropped to a mark just 2lbs above his highest winning mark. Drawn in stall six he gets on very well with Shane Kelly and he gets an each way vote at 8/1 with BetVictor.
Martyn Meade was out of luck with a well-backed horse (Infrastructure) on the Roodeye on Wednesday but his Eminent (2.25) is taken to make a winning reappearance in the Huxley Stakes. This son of Frankel finished fourth in the Derby and third in the Irish Champion Stakes last season and has won first time out in both previous campaigns. The selection is 5/6 to land the odds with BetVictor and it will be disappointing is he cannot win in this company.
Magic Circle 6/1
Imphal (5.25) steps up in class for his reappearance but was a progressive stayer last autumn and he gets the vote in a fascinating opener at Ascot this evening. The Marcus Tregoning yard have made a quit start to the season which tempers confidence but the selection goes well for Tyler Saunders and can take this step up in class in his stride.
A big run from Ghostwatch at Chester on Thursday would be a pointer to the chances of Urbino who finished runner up to the Godolphin 3-y-old at Wolverhampton last time. The vote, however, goes to Stream Of Stars (6.35) who looked sure to appreciate the step up in trip when overcoming greenness to finish second over 10f at Newmarket on debut.
The most interesting runner of the evening is, arguably, Dreamfield (7.40) who landed the odds on both starts for John Gosden, as a juvenile but has not been seen on the track since scoring by just a short head over 7f back in October 2016. He holds a host of Group entries over sprint distances later in the season and he must have been showing plenty on the Newmarket gallops.
Stream Of Stars 9/4
There are still doubts about whether Our Kaempfer (3.15) truly gets 3m but this trip just shy of that distance on fast ground going right-handed should be ideal and he is well treated on her best form for Charlie Longsdon.
Our Kaempfer 10/1
Rebecca Rocks (3.25) has been raised 10lbs since doing us a favour at Windsor on her reappearance but is in good hands and the filly is taken to take the rise in class in her stride.
Rebecca Rocks 11/8