BILL ESDAILE TAKES AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT TODAY’S BIG RACE AND PREVIEWS THE REST OF CHESTER’S CARD
1 ANGEL GABRIAL 8/1
Runner-up in this last year, he wears the first colours of leading owner Dr Marwan Koukash and has a good draw in stall five. Contested Group races last season, but is 15lb higher than 12 months ago and prefers quicker ground.
2 FAMOUS KID 14/1
Godolphin’s sole representative won a competitive Meydan handicap over 1m6f on his last start in February, but this is the furthest he’s ever been. Doesn’t have a great draw and stamina has to be a huge worry on this ground.
3 SHU LEWIS 16/1
One of three Irish contenders in this year’s race, she has put in some respectable performances over the past couple of seasons. Has a lovely draw in stall one, but is now a nine-year-old and might just be a little too exposed.
4 SUEGIOO 14/1
Last year’s winner who is now 9lb higher and drawn wide in stall 16 compared with four 12 months ago. Has man-of-the-moment Ryan Moore in the saddle again, but will be a shock if he can notch back-to-back successes.
5 DUKE OF CLARENCE 20/1
Another Dr Koukash runner so this will have been the plan, but only seventh in this race last year and is 6lb higher this time. Been off the track since running well at Newmarket last May and his owner looks to have better chances.
6 DESTRUCT 20/1
Interesting runner on his first start for Ian Williams having formerly been trained by the master Andre Fabre in France. Has a nice draw in stall eight, but hasn’t raced for over 20 months and lacks the experience for a test like this.
7 JOHN REEL 25/1
Landed last leg of an all-weather hat-trick at Wolverhampton in February, but this is his first flat start on turf. He should stay the trip and has a good jockey in Adam Kirby, but he’s on a high mark and has a wide draw to overcome.
8 MYMATECHRIS 14/1
Progressive stayer for Andrew Balding who trained Communicator to finish third in this last year. Mymatechris won the AW Marathon at Lingfield last month, however he’s another who has shown his best for on the all-weather.
9 EDGE OF SANITY 20/1
Has claims on his decent win at York’s Ebor meeting last summer, but was well beaten in a Conditions race at Doncaster on his reappearance. He will have to step up to take a hand in this and has been done no favours by the draw.
10 QUICK JACK 9/2
Betway’s 9/2 favourite and easy to see why. Won a competitive handicap at Galway last summer before finishing a close third in the Cesarewitch. Was then third in the County Hurdle and doesn’t have a bad draw in stall nine.
11 BUTHELEZI 14/1
Has every chance based on his gutsy win over 1m6f at Musselburgh last time. Lovely draw in stall four and won’t mind that the rain has fallen over the past couple of days. Brian Ellison’s horses are in fine form and one for the shortlist.
12 MUBARAZA 12/1
Was sent off the 4/1 favourite in last year’s renewal when finishing fourth and can race off the same mark. Nonetheless has been a little disappointing on the whole and hasn’t won since August 2012. Doesn’t look an obvious winner.
13 GABRIAL’S STAR 16/1
Undoubtedly one of the more interesting outsiders, especially now that the rain has come. Has the perfect draw in stall two and, if Tony Hamilton can control the fractions, this front-runner could give Dr Koukash a third straight win.
14 ZAFAYAN 17/2
Another runner you cannot ignore for world class trainer and jockey combination Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen. Any more rain will be a big advantage for this four-year-old, who won last time out and is drawn nicely in stall seven.
15 LADY KASHAAN 23/1
There have been plenty of shocks in this race over the years and this mare could cause another one this afternoon. She dotted up on her reappearance at Musselburgh and clearly loves soft ground. Stall 10 is by no means insurmountable.
16 GABRIAL’S KING 8/1
Been well backed over the past few days having drawn stall three and is the shortest of Dr Koukash’s battalion. No-one rides Chester better than Franny Norton, yet chance will be much greater if the ground remains good-to-soft.
17 TRIP TO PARIS 11/1
Has snuck in at the bottom of the weights after winning back-to-back races at Lingfield and Ripon. The last victory proved he stays two miles, but he doesn’t have any form with cut in the ground so the forecast has to be a worry.
Latest odds supplied by Betway
Bill Esdaile’s 1-2-3-4
1st Lady Kashaan
3rd Quick Jack
4th Gabrial’s Star