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The first-time blinkers could be a plus for Aesthete, who didn’t look straightforward at the finish when going close at Salisbury last time. However, preference is for the penalised SUNSET SALUTE, who made all in good style over course and distance last month. Fellow previous winner Bill Peyto is another to consider, while Duchess Rose could take a sizeable step forward on this second start.
This is likely to be run at a fearsome clip. BOSSIPOP doesn’t have to lead and is taken to post his fourth course win having been in top form the last twice. Gabrial The Devil has the plum draw in stall one and should have the race run to suit on this drop back from 6 furlongs, but there are still doubts about the trip. The main threat could come from First Company in stall three, who ran well over course and distance last month.
The 6-furlong handicap at Newmarket in which CAIRN ISLAND was fourth on his reappearance also featured subsequent Royal Ascot winners Creative Force (first), Significantly (second) and Rohaan (fifth).
He’s now 1lb lower and there can be optimism he’ll be suited by the step up in trip. The front-runner Sibaaq should enjoy the run of the race from stall two and is second choice, ahead of Just Frank who is also drawn well.
Russellinthebushes and Zoltan Star have the best form and are closely matched on their course and distance clash early last month. They’re also drawn well but preference is for GUEST LIST, who showed good pace before fading over 6 furlongs at Pontefract on her recent debut, and could improve past the aforementioned pair now tackling 5 furlongs. Russellinthebushes may be the chief threat.
Chester regulars Heart And Soul and Gabrial The One should not be far away, but ELHAFEI has been in storming form recently and did the job in good enough style over course and distance last time to suggest that he can complete the four-timer. As an unexposed three-year-old stepping up in trip, Saligo Bay is feared most.
The lightly raced five-year-old DESERT FRIEND won with something in hand at Lingfield three weeks ago despite having his momentum checked over one furlong out and he could still be well handicapped now just 3lbs higher. Speedo Boy went close at Goodwood recently and is second choice, while the progressive Call My Bluff will be dangerous if getting his preferred slow ground.
The in-form RECON MISSION (NAP) is a confident selection. His sixth place in the Epsom Dash can be upgraded as he had an unhelpful low draw and he’s run really well on both previous visits to Chester. He emerges from stall five today, with not much obvious pace inside him, and there can be plenty of optimism that things will pan out favourably for this prominent racer.
Spoof was a solid second at Windsor last time and is second choice from stall three, while Militia and Dark Shot also arrive on the back of good performances.
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