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The first day of ITV’s three-day coverage from Chester gets underway with this conditions race for juveniles over 5f. Hard to get away from ARMOR who only beat a few horses on debut but who still showed plenty of promise when scoring at Doncaster. He looks a sharp sort for Richard Hannon and Ryan Moore and might well just outclass this field even from a draw which could have been a little closer to the rail.
Now a Listed race in the Cheshire Oaks over nearly 1m4f. DARLECTABLE YOU might be able to shed the maiden tag here for the Gosdens and Frankie Dettori. My selection should improve for a step up in trip after two defeats over 10f at Newcastle and Newbury. I was a bit disappointed she couldn’t win at the latter track when defeated by a newcomer, but she still showed plenty of ability and is bred for this distance.
ITV show one jumps race which is this handicap chase over 2m5f. This is wide open. HUNTSMAN SON is the class act and has a fine sixth in the fantastically sponsored Paddy Power Plate at the Cheltenham Festival. He then unseated at Aintree but has a chance to bounce back here for Alex Hales and Kielan Woods.
A handicap here over 5f. Norfolk Stakes third IMPERIAL FORCE is a free-running type who might just bomb out from stall 1 under Oisin Murphy for Andrew Balding. The selection has been beaten twice this term but that has allowed the handicap mark to slip a little and this might be his chance to get a decent win on the board.
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Epsom Derby trial time with the Group 3 Chester Vase over an extended 1m4f. I was really impressed with WIRKO at Epsom on seasonal debut and he could be a decent price here for Charlie Appleby. The son of Kingman looked green in that Epsom victory and only got going inside the final furlong. The extra two furlongs here should be right up his street and the Charlie Appleby/William Buick Godolphin team remain in good shape.
Finally a handicap over 6f. Dropping back in distance PAWS FOR THOUGHT might not be the worst shout for Tom Dascombe and Richard Kingscote. The fourth at Doncaster at the end of last season was not a bad effort. Ideally I’d like the gelding closer to the rail than in stall 6, but he can still make a splash here first time for an outfit that loves to have winners at this track.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
Matt Chapman’s Wednesday racing tips
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