I REMEMBER watching TAC DE BOISTRON absolutely hose up on his second start for Marco Botti at Chester in September 2013 and vowed to back him blind if he ever returned to the Roodee, such was the impression his performance made on me.
The now eight-year-old finished miles clear of the smart Cubanita that day, relishing the tight turns of this course and being allowed to set his own fractions.
Botti’s charge has since gone on to land the Group One Royal Oak twice and a Sagaro Stakes, as well as finishing a close-up second to the useful Gospel Choir when trying to concede 4lb in last season’s Yorkshire Cup.
Make no mistake, Tac De Boistron is the class act in Chester’s Group Three Ormonde Stakes today (3.10pm) and the gelding can defy his penalty and see off some useful rivals on ground that will be perfect for him.
The outside draw is the only slight concern, but he has a strong running style and Martin Harley gets on very well with the horse.
Richard Hannon’s Windshear is consistent but has come up short every time he has tackled Listed or Group company.
Big Orange could be a bigger danger as Michael Bell’s inmate is unexposed as a stayer and led from pillar-to-post to win a decent Listed event here last season.
The hat-trick seeking Deuce Again is another to consider, but Tac De Boistron is a genuine top-level performer and Betway’s 5/2 is a very fair price.
The Dee Stakes (2.40pm) is an interesting contest and I’m keen on NAFAQA for the Barry Hills team.
His form from last year is really strong. He was unlucky not to win the Chesham at Royal Ascot on his debut when running very green. But the fact he started off there shows the high regard he’s held in.
A win over subsequent runaway Mill Reef winner Toocoolforschool, followed by runner-up efforts to crack juveniles Elm Park and Kool Kompany is smart form.
Being by Sir Percy, he looks to be crying out for a step up in trip here and rates a solid bet against the Aidan O’Brien-trained Smuggler’s Cove, who’s likely to be overbet with Ryan Moore on board.
Finally, TAGULA NIGHT looks really interesting for the 4.20pm handicap. He won a similarly competitive big-field handicap off a 4lb lower mark here last season on this sort of ground and is fit from the all-weather.
It’s surely a pointer that Chester maestro Franny Norton rides, as presumably he could have had his pick of the Dr Marwan Koukash runners also lining up.
NAFAQA 2.40pm Chester
TAC DE BOISTRON 3.10pm Chester
TAGULA NIGHT 4.20pm Chester