Friday, 26 May 2017

Parish Looks Overpriced At York

Sophie Killoran was replaced by Sean Levey in the saddle on Saxo Jack earlier but he didn’t cover himself in glory. Saxo Jack looked to be travelling well as they approached the final two furlongs but Levey had him in behind a wall of horses. By the time he switched him out and found daylight the leaders had flown, but he picked up well and stayed on for 3rd. A nice drift out to 25s was an added bonus, and he is one to keep a close eye on in the coming weeks.
PJ McDonald has a good strike rate when riding for Loughnane.
Tomorrow I like the look of one at York, and I think Parish Boy could be well suited by the step up to 12f in the class 3 handicap at 15.15. This former Jim Bolger inmate hasn’t pulled up many trees since changing hands, but his handicap mark is slipping and back in March he finished in close proximity to some good horses at Wolves (8f) off a mark of 95 in a much hotter race than this one.

Josephine Gordon rode him that day and she dropped him in from a wide draw. He was always in rear and he ran in snatches, Gordon having to cajole him along from an early stage. However, he didn’t fall too far behind and as they turned in he kept on pretty strongly up the inside. He only finished 11th of 13, but he was only 5.5L behind the winner and a couple of lengths behind the likes of Examiner, Dream Walker and only a neck behind Top Notch Tonto.

David Loughnane decided to give him a couple of spins over hurdles after that run and he was well beaten on both occasions. He returned to the level at Chester (10f gd) and though he travelled well to a point he was outpaced as they turned for home and he got left behind. Josephine Gordon wasn’t too hard on him and I got the impression that they had another day in mind.

This 5yo son of New Approach was a Listed winner back in Ireland when in the care of Jim Bolger and he beat none other than Order Of St George in that contest at Leopardstown (8f yld). He is bred to stay tomorrow’s trip of 12f, by a Derby winner and a half brother to useful middle distance performer Desert Snow.

The handicapper has dropped him to a mark of 88 after that run at Chester so he is now 7lb lower than for that decent run at Wolves in class 2 company. He now drops into class 3 company and the booking of PJ McDonald looks significant. He has a fine record when riding for Loughnane, firing in 7 winners and earning 10 top 4 finishes from just 36 rides.

Loughnane and McDonald teamed up to good effect with Theodorico last week, and this horse has a very similar profile. He is undoubtedly a talented performer on his day and he should be well capable of getting involved off 88. He showed some of that old ability remained at Wolves and if the forecast rain arrives it will enhance his chance even further. I think 50/1 is far too big and at those odds Parish Boy is worth chancing each way for small stakes.


STEVOS’ SELECTION: 15.15 YORK-PARISH BOY E/W @ 50/1 

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Jack Looks Well Handicapped At Haydock

Little Orchid ran a nice race at Yarmouth for us earlier this week but unfortunately, she had to settle for 4th. She travelled well as they turned for home but Birkett had to challenge widest of all and though Little Orchid stayed on well she just couldn’t get to the leaders. She definitely has the ability to pick up a small staying handicap at some stage off her current mark.
Sophie Killoran has a good strike rate when riding for Leech.
On Friday I like the look of one in the opening 10f handicap at Haydock, and Saxo Jack looks absolutely chucked in off a mark of 77 dropped into class 5 company for the first time on turf. This 7yo is obviously not the force he was during his peak years with Ger Lyons and Godolphin, but he showed a definite spark last time at Nottingham when beaten 6L behind Zlatan (8.5f gd).

He fell out of the stalls that day under Sophie Killoran and he was still detached out the back as they turned for home. A couple of furlongs from home Killoran seemed to rein him back and switch him wide, and he stayed on rather nicely down the outside once he found daylight. It wasn’t the finest of rides by Killoran, but it was a pleasing run by Saxo Jack and if things had gone right he would have finished a lot closer to the principals.

That run came off 78, and he has been dropped another pound to 77. His last win came at Meydan off 100 back in January 2014 (10f gd) and in fact all three of his career wins have come at that trip. He steps back up to 10f for the first time since his debut run for Leech tomorrow and that looks sure to suit. Killoran has an excellent record when riding for Leech, booting home 3 winners and earning 4 places from just 11 rides.

With horses like this it is difficult to know if they will be putting it all in, so as a rule stakes should be kept small. However, the forecast good to firm ground will be ideal, the return to 10f is a huge plus and a wide draw isn’t really a worry as this hold up performer will be dropped in. If he can get away on terms and gets a good pace to aim at he could be very dangerous off 23lb lower (28lb including Killoran’s claim) than his last winning mark and he is the each way suggestion at 20/1 in an open race.


STEVOS’ SELECTION: 14.20 HAYDOCK-SAXO JACK E/W @ 20/1

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Orchid Could Finally Flower At Yarmouth

Mr Scarlet ran a massive race for us at Naas on Sunday, flying home down the outside for 3rd and earning some black type. Unfortunately for us there were a couple of non-runners so unless you backed him in the place market on Betfair it wasn’t good enough to reward each way support. He is a horse that seemingly takes a lot of getting fit and he is well worth sticking with next time out. The winner was mightily impressive, and an exciting season lies ahead for Caravaggio.
Shelley Birkett has a good record when riding for her Mum.
On Wednesday the standard of racing isn’t of the highest quality, but I can’t resist having a small e/w bet on Little Orchid in the 15.00 at Yarmouth at very nice odds. Julia Feilden loves to have winners at her local track and this will be a family affair with Shelly Birkett taking off 3lb in the saddle. This 4yo daughter of Observatory has yet to get her head in front in 11 career starts, but she looks bred to relish the step up in trip to 14f at Yarmouth tomorrow.

She has placed three times in her career, and her best effort came on good ground in a 12f handicap at Brighton last October when beaten just a neck off a mark of 50. She was given loads to do after getting outpaced early, but she flew home for 2nd and if the race was 50 yards further she would have got up.

She hasn’t reproduced that level of form in four runs since, but her last effort can be excused as it came after a 133 day break. She actually ran well enough in that 11f contest here earlier this month, shaping as though she might get involved up the inner before fading late on. I think she faded due to fitness rather than not staying, and tomorrow’s trip of 14f could be perfect.

There is loads of stamina in her pedigree and her dam, who was also trained by Julia Feilden, was a winner at 14f. Her half brother Spectested was a 3 mile+ hurdle winner while another half sister was a 2 mile hurdle winner. Her sire Observatory has a decent record at staying trips too, with a 21% overall strike rate with his progeny that have raced at 14f+ (9/43).

Julia Feilden’s record at Yarmouth is another reason for optimism as she loves having winners around here. In the past 5 seasons she has had 12 winners from 112 runners, with a hugely impressive 54 top 4 finishes. That is a near 60% frame hitting strike rate and it is a superb record for a yard that wouldn’t have a huge amount of ammunition to go to war with. Shelley Birkett also does well when riding for her Mum, with 38 wins and 138 top 4 finishes from 403 rides in last 5 seasons.

As can be seen from the above the statistics are in Little Orchid’s favour tomorrow, and she has been drawn in stall 2. She will probably be held up and played late by Birkett, and she will need the gaps to come at the right time. This looks a desperately weak contest, and Little Orchid faces a host of rivals that are badly out of form. With Birkett’s claim she is effectively off a mark of 45, and if she returns to the form of that Brighton run off 50 surely she won’t be far away at odds of 25/1.

STEVOS’ SELECTIONS: 15.00 YARMOUTH-LITTLE ORCHID E/W @ 25/1

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Scarlet Could Sneak A Place At Naas

Signore Piccolo ran a cracker earlier at Doncaster to finish 4th but unfortunately, due to a couple of non runners, we didn’t get paid. He was travelling best of all a couple of furlongs out, and for a fleeting moment I thought he was going to go on and win. He just ran out of puff in the final furlong and was run out of a place. He will probably be dropped another pound or two after that run and he is one to be on next time out.
Sheila Lavery's horses are in flying form.
I am returning to home turf for Sunday’s selection, and I think Mr Scarlet is a ridiculous price for the feature race at Naas, the 6f Group 3 Lacken Stakes at 16.15. Sheila Lavery’s son of Dandy Man made a very pleasing return to action at Navan behind Khukri in a Listed heat last month, and like all of her horses he is likely to come on a huge amount with that run behind him.

This fella showed plenty of promise on his racecourse debut at Fairyhouse when a fast finishing 4th behind the useful Ger Lyons trained Noivado (6f gd/yld). He showed in no uncertain terms that run was no fluke on his next start here at Naas (5f gd), displaying a smart turn of foot to win a race that has worked out well in impressive fashion.

The runner up that day Mayleaf Shine went on to win a handicap off 82 in good style on his next start and was subsequently only 2L behind Hit The Bid in a Group 3 at the Curragh. Sheila Lavery has her string in tremendous fettle, and her form figures for her last 6 runners read 514191. Mr Scarlet shaped really nicely on his return to action last time, and I think he is well worth a crack at this level.

Obviously, Caravaggio is the one to beat here on the ratings and if he is fully wound up on his return to action he should be able to preserve his unbeaten record. Mr Scarlet has been handed a rating of just 96 by the handicapper, 21lb inferior to the 117 rated fav, but I think he has the potential to be better than that and he was only 5L behind the now 107 rated Khukri at Navan last time.

He has winning course form in the book, he will love the good ground, his yard is flying and he will come on leaps and bounds for his reappearance run at Navan. His draw in stall 8 shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience in this relatively small field and he won’t lack for assistance from the saddle with Ronan Whelan booked. I think Mr Scarlet’s odds of 33/1 are far too big and at that price he has to be worth chancing each way.


STEVOS’ SELECTION: 16.15 NAAS-MR SCARLET E/W @ 33/1 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Piccolo Can Make Sweet Music At Doncaster

It was another tough day for us at York today, and only two of the selections ran with any real credit. The likes of Crimean Tatar, Lil Sophella and to a lesser extent Southdown Lad ran awful races, but at least the last two gave us some sort of a run for our money.
David Loughnane has his string in great form.
Steph Hollinshead will be delighted with Stoneyford Lad’s fine effort and he wasn’t beaten far at all. He is not a bad horse and he is well capable of picking up a couple of handicaps. As expected the step up in trip brought about a bit of improvement from Sue’s Angel, and she gave us some consolation by grabbing 3rd and rewarding each way support. Tomorrow’s fancy goes in the lucky last at Doncaster, and hopefully he is worth the wait.

Signore Piccolo will be having his first start for David Loughnane in this 6f handicap and he makes his seasonal return off a mark of 77. This 6yo son of Piccolo had a disappointing season in 2016, but he did run a couple of decent races when the ground was soft. He will definitely appreciate the underfoot conditions on Saturday, and he hails from a yard that has been amongst the winners.

This gelding has a good record fresh, winning first time out in 2014 and 2015. The winning run came to an end on his return to action last season but he had an excuse as he was always likely to struggle off a mark of 84. His rating of 77 this time is much more reasonable, and Loughane has enlisted the services of on fire jockey Sam James.

He has ridden plenty of winners in recent weeks and he heads to Doncaster from Thirsk for just one ride. He was beaten by a short head on a 25/1 2yo for Loughnane recently, and he has ridden 3 winners and achieved 19 top 4 finishes from 46 rides for the stable. Signore Piccolo has run twice at Doncaster, and his first run was best when finishing 3rd, beaten less than 2L for the win off 79. That was on unsuitably quick ground too, and he is best with an ease.

Signore Piccolo is rated 5lb below his last winning rating of 82 and he shouldn’t be inconvenienced by his draw in stall 3. He has course form, he has gone well fresh in the past and his trainer has had a fine start to the season. Sam James will be chock full of confidence too after firing in a delicious double at Hamilton on Friday. Hopefully he can continue his excellent run of form on Signore Piccolo, and at odds of 16/1 he is worth chancing each way.


STEVOS’ SELECTION: 20.50 DONCASTER-SIGNORE PICCOLO E/W @ 16/1

Thursday, 18 May 2017

York Dante Festival Day 3 Tips

Things didn’t go to plan for us on Thursday with none of our selections hitting the frame. The drying ground seemed to be very tacky and I am not sure it suited the horses I fancied. Union Rose was backed into 14/1 but he was ridden more forward than usual and he could only manage 5th. The Black Princess was also backed off the boards and she ran a nice race but she could only manage 2nd behind surprise winner Blond Me.
William Knight has a proper chance with Southdown Lad.
I was bitterly disappointed with Contrapposto’s run as I genuinely believed he would relish the step up in trip. He is a much better horse than he showed today and I still believe he has the ability to win races at pattern level. Instant Attraction ran a funny sort of race and until the final furlong he looked as though he would challenge for the win. He folded tamely though, as did Ardad who ran a stinker. Hopefully we have a bit more luck on the final day, and you can read my thoughts below…

Race 1

I have already posted a selection for this race for Mybettingbonus and you can find out what it is by clicking here.

Race 2

Only seven go to post for this Listed 3yo Fillies’ mile contest and the one that appeals at a nice price is the Charlie Hills trained daughter of Invincible Spirit Mulhimatty. This filly made a taking debut when winning by a short head at Newbury (7f gd/fm) and she showed her mettle by doing it the hard way.

She tried to make all after breaking well, but it looked as though she was beaten when two challengers went by her in the closing stages. However, she showed real guts to get back up for a narrow win, and judging by how she finished a mile should be no problem. Her dam is by Pivotal so soft ground should be fine, and at odds of 12/1 she should give her backers a good run for their money.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: MULHIMATTY E/W @ 12/1

Race 3

I have put up a selection for this race for Mybettingbonus and you can find out what it is by clicking here.

Race 4

Southdown Lad comes here after a poor run on the all weather on his seasonal reappearance, but he was never likely to be suited by the surface and we think he will be a lot more at home on the forecast good to soft ground tomorrow. This 4yo son of Lilbourne Lad has won three of his nine career starts, and his very best form has come when there has been soft in the ground description.

His form figures with an ease read 21311 so he clearly enjoys getting his toe in, and he should strip a lot fitter with a run under his belt. William Knight has booked Oisin Murphy for the ride and he has a good record for the yard, riding 3 winners and finishing in the first four 7 times from 20 rides for Knight. Southdown Lad races off a mark of 94, just 4lb above his last winning rating, and at odds of 12/1 he represents each way value with trip and ground to suit.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: SOUTHDOWN LAD E/W @ 12/1 NAP

Race 5

Lil Spohella is the one I like in this 7f Fillies and Mares’ Handicap and she will be attempting to repeat last year’s win off just a 2lb higher mark of 80. Pat Holmes’ 8yo daughter of Indian Haven won this on her first run back last season, and Holmes is likely to have her primed and ready to go tomorrow.

She has run well on all three previous visits to York, and Danny Tudhope looks a good booking. He has ridden this mare three times, and two of those rides resulted in victory. She handles a bit of ease in the ground and she has been handed a nice draw in stall 3. She ran a cracker here off 87 last season when 3L behind Opal Tiara so her mark of 80 should be well within her reach, and at odds of 10/1 she looks well worth supporting each way.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: LIL SOPHELLA E/W @ 10/1 NB

Race 6

Steph Hollinshead is far from a household name, but she knows how to ready one and I think Stoneyford Lane could outrun his huge odds on ground he loves. This 3yo son of Bushranger scored on debut at a massive price (5f sft) and he subsequently ran a cracker to be runner up behind Copper Knight in the Lily Agnes at Chester. Copper Knight won a handicap back at Chester earlier this month off 87 and he is now rated 95.

Stoneyford Lane came up short in a Group 2 at Royal Ascot on his next start but the trip of 7f stretched his stamina. He showed more on his handicap debut off 81 back at Chester, again over 7f, but the trip and good ground didn’t suit. He was likely over the top on his final 2yo run at Pontefract in October, and he returns to action off a mark of 76. I think he has the ability to go well off that rating, he won first time up last year and at odds of 33/1 he could run a big race with a good draw in stall 2 and on ground that suits.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: STONEYFORD LANE E/W @ 33/1

Race 7

Sue’s Angel sneaks into this 12f handicap off a feather weight and useful claimer Connor Murtagh takes off another 7lb. Richard Fahey’s 3yo daughter of Dark Angel has shown definite promise on two of her four maiden runs, and she makes her handicap debut up in trip and off a mark of just 65. The furthest she has raced over thus far is 8.5f, but her dam was best at tomorrow’s trip of 12f and I think the extra distance could bring about a massive improvement.

Her sire, Dark Angel, was best known for his sprinting exploits but he has a decent strike rate with progeny running at 12-13f, producing 11 winners from 44 runners. Connor Murtagh’s claim means she only carries 8 stone, and he has 4 winners and 5 top 4 finishes from just 21 rides for Fahey. He also runs Lord Commander who is priced up at 12/1, but I think this new trip could bring out the best in Sue’s Angel and at odds of 25/1 she is worth chancing each way.


STEVOS’ SELECTION: SUE’S ANGEL E/W @ 25/1

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Dante Stakes Day At York

Shady McCoy ran an absolute cracker for us on Saturday, and hopefully some of you snapped up the 50/1 that was widely available up until the opening show. He was a touch unlucky having to switch a couple of times to thread his way through the field, and he ended up a fast finishing 4th. 
Instant Attraction loves to get his toe in.
He has a bit in hand off his current mark and he is one to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. Rain at York means conditions will be testing, and an ability to handle soft ground will be key. The Dante is the big race on Thursday, and you can read my thoughts on an interesting card below.

Race 1

Union Rose is a gelding that has been good to me in the past, and Ron Harris’ 5yo son of Stimulation looks to be back down to a workable mark. This lad loves to get his toe in, and though he was well beaten on his seasonal comeback he has generally needed a run to put him straight after a break. Oisin Murphy has been booked and he has 6 wins and 17 top 4 finishes from 62 rides for Ron Harris.

For a horse of his ability it is amazing that he has only won two races, and his last triumph came over course and distance back in 2015 off a mark of 89. He is only 4lb higher here off 93 and as he showed with a close 2nd off 95 last July he can be competitive off that rating. He has a good draw in stall 4, he will love the ground and Harris has his horses in good form. At odds of 33/1 he is the each way suggestion in a wide open looking handicap.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: UNION ROSE E/W @ 33/1

Race 2

Only five fillies go to post for the Group 2 Hambleton Stakes and the soft ground should be ideal for the John Gosden trained The Black Princess. This filly has had just six career starts since making a winning debut on her sole 2yo start and she signed off on her 3yo season with a 10 f Listed win on very soft ground at Saint-Cloud.

She returned to France for her seasonal comeback at Chantilly in a 10f Group 3 and she showed she could handle good ground too with another victory. She has yet to finish outside the first three, her two runs on ground with soft in the description have resulted in a win a second and a third (group 2), and at odds of 7/1 she represents decent value in what looks a pretty open race.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: THE BLACK PRINCESS @ 7/1 NB

Race 3

I think Contrapposto is well overpriced for this contest and you can read why at Mybettingbonus.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: CONTRAPPOSTO E/W @ 40/1

Race 4

This Listed 8f handicap looks a very tricky puzzle to solve, but one horse that looks well overpriced with soft ground likely is the Jedd O’Keefe trained Instant Attraction. This 4 time winner hasn’t got his head in front for quite a while (June 2015) but he has run some cracking races in defeat and there were plenty of positives to be gleaned from his comeback run in the Lincoln.

He was beaten just 3L off a mark of 99 and the handicapper has generously dropped him to 97 after that fine effort. The ground really is the key to this son of Tagula, and the 6yo was narrowly beaten off 99 by Examiner at Epsom back in June. He has placed form at York, he has a lovely draw in stall 7 and the ground has come right for him. At odds of 22/1 with Paddy Power he is a confident each way selection.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: INSTANT ATTRACTION @ 22/1 NAP

Race 5

Brian The Snail is a shade of odds on for this Listed contest, but I reckon it could be worth taking him on with the highly promising Ardad. This 3yo son of Kodiac won handsomely in a Listed race his only run on soft, and he took the Group 2 Flying Childers at Doncaster last year on good.

Brian The Snail has been highly touted and remains unbeaten after three starts. He has won on soft, a Novice’s heat at Catterick last season, and he won cosily in a class 3 handicap at Yarmouth on his seasonal reappearance off a mark of 93. He was hiked to 102 after that run, but that still leaves him with 6lbs to find with the favourite. He gets 5lb from the Gosden horse, but that might not be enough and I prefer the chances of Ardad at odds of 5/2.

STEVOS’ SELECTION ARDAD @ 5/2

Race 6

No strong fancy for this maiden and it is one to watch with a view to the future.

Race 7


No bet for me in this stayers’ race either. 

Friday, 12 May 2017

Shady Could Be The Real McCoy At Ascot

This Saturday the Victoria Cup Heritage Handicap is the big race of the day at Ascot and it looks as competitive an affair as ever. 27 horses have been declared and a case can be made for most. Of the last seven winners five have been drawn in stall 13 or higher, so that suggests that high numbers are favoured. Ian Williams is a trainer who knows what it takes to make an impact in these type of races, and in Shady McCoy he has a horse that is handicapped to run a big race from stall 26.

Ian Williams knows how to ready one.
This 7yo son of English Channel has been dropped to a mark of 89 after a below par effort on his seasonal comeback at Nottingham (8.5f gd/fm) where he was heavily restrained after leaving the stalls and trailed in last of 11 off 90. However, he needed his seasonal comeback last season before going on to win next time out, so Shady McCoy should be a different horse with that run under his belt.

This fella last tasted success in a 7f class 3 contest at Goodwood last July off a mark of 87, just 2lb lower than he races off here. He followed that up with another good run over the same course and distance in a class 2, beaten just over 2L off 90. He then chased home Salateen at Newmarket, again off 90 beaten less than a length, demonstrating that he is more than capable of getting involved at the business end off his current mark.

His sole run at Ascot came on good ground over tomorrow’s trip of 7f, and he ran a cracker to be beaten a nose off 84 (would have won only for pulling hard early). That shows he handles the track well, and it would be no surprise if he has been trained with a crack at this race in mind. James Doyle rode him for his last win but he is engaged across the channel and he would have struggled to do 8st 5lbs in any case. Low weight specialist Jimmy Quinn takes over in the saddle. He has had 13 rides for Williams down through the years, winning on 3 and placing on 2.

Shady McCoy has a good draw in stall 26 and he has Holiday Magic on his outside so he should get a good pace to aim at. He is a strong traveller and can pull hard at times, so the quicker the early pace the better. He has been slowly away on quite a few of his recent runs but he is usually okay from the gates and as a hold up performer the start isn’t crucial. As long as he doesn’t fall out like last time he should be grand, and at odds of 40/1 he could be worth chancing for small stakes e/w.


STEVOS’ SELECTION: 16.00 ASCOT-SHADY MCCOY E/W @ 40/1 

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Chester May Festival Tips Day 3

Day 1 may have been a frustrating affair for us, but today was a lot more like it. Parish Boy got us off to a poor start and after that I feared the worst. However, Deauville soon got us our first winner on the board under a well judged ride from Ryan Moore. Masham Star was well backed and ran accordingly, finding one too good but rewarding each way support.
Ice Slice looks overpriced in the opener
Tamleek could only manage a 4th place finish but I think he is better than that. He didn’t enjoy the clearest of runs and he still looked a touch green under pressure. Zamjar was given an inspired ride by Atzeni after he had to sit and suffer after missing the break. He produced him at the perfect time down the outside and he prevailed narrowly in a thrilling finish. Storm King finished off the day with a superb win in the lucky last, and hopefully we are in for more of the same on Day 3.

Race 1

This 7.5f handicap looks a competitive contest, and as ever at Chester it makes sense to concentrate on those that are drawn low. The one we like at a nice price from stall 4 is Ice Slice for James Eustace and Ryan Tate, and he could take a big step forward with his seasonal reappearance behind him. This 6yo son of Dark Angel made hay last season, and he has the ability to make his presence felt off a mark of 95.

He won a total of 5 races last season, including over course and distance, and he is likely to have been trained with this race in mind. He also won second time up last season, so his poor run last time isn’t a big worry. He is a pound lower than when a very good second behind Highland Colori at York on his final run of last season, so he is not handicapped out of this. He can be backed at 14/1 and he is the each way suggestion.

STEVOS SELECTION: ICE SLICE E/W @ 14/1 (skybet) NAP

Race 2

I fancy Bay Of Poets e/w for this one and you can find out why at Mybettingbonus.

Race 3

Once again, the draw will be pivotal for this 5f sprint, and from stall 2 we think Megan Lily could have an each way squeak for Paul Hanagan and Richard Fahey. This 3yo daughter of Dragon Pulse has won just once from eleven career starts, but she has been running mostly in Listed company and she should strip a lot fitter from her comeback run in a handicap at Thirsk.

She could only manage 5th in that 5f contest last month off a mark of 88 and the handicapper has generously dropped her a couple of pounds to 86. She has course form in the book, finishing 2nd in a nursery here off 77 last September (5.5f gd/sft). Her sole win came on the all weather at Chelmsford, but her best run came on good ground in a listed contest in Chantilly. Trip and ground will suit, she has a great draw and she could bounce back to form at odds of 14/1.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: MEGAN LILY E/W @ 14/1 NB

Race 4

I fancy Western Hymn for this Group 3 and you can read why at Mybettingbonus.

Race 5

With only 7 runners going to post I will be just watching this maiden.

Race 6

Storm King continued the superb run of form for David Griffiths on Day 2, and he could be set for another good showing from trusty old sprinter Duke Of Firenze in this class 3 conditions contest. This 8yo son of Pivotal has been one of the flagbearers for this relatively small stable since arriving from Robert Cowell, and he should come on leaps and bounds for his seasonal reappearance in a hot handicap at Newbury last month.

His only previous run at Chester saw him finish last of 8, but he was drawn widest of all that day and that is never ideal around here. Duke Of Firenze is drawn much better this time in stall 4, and he will enjoy the good ground. His official rating of 103 puts him right in the mix and he is versatile tactically. He can’t afford to be slowly away like he was last time, but if he breaks on terms he could be dangerous and he is the selection at odds of 7/1.

STEVOS’ SELECTION-DUKE OF FIRENZE E/W @ 7/1

Race 7

Pat Shanahan went close for us earlier this week with Taexali, and he looks to have a good chance here with Warp Factor, who has landed the dream draw in stall 1.This 4yo son of The Carbon Unit has won just once from 18 starts, a 10f maiden at Ripon, but he has placed form at today’s trip of 12f and he ran well behind Euchen Glen at Ayr earlier this week (10f).

He also went close at Limerick over 8f on his previous start, beaten less than 2L off today’s mark of 78. Cliff Lee takes off a handy 3lb which should be a big help, and with trip, ground and draw ideal he is capable of going close at odds of 5/1.


STEVOS’ SELECTION: WARP FACTOR @ 5/1

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Chester May Festival Tips Day 2

Well, what a frustrating day that was. Black Orange ran a massive race and looked like the winner everywhere bar the line. Alluringly was a bit disappointing behind Enable and she will need to improve massively if she is to become a classic contender.
Mark Johnston usually does well at Chester. 
Taexali was very well backed but a tardy start cost him as he just failed to reel the winner in. Sir Chauvelin never saw daylight until it was too late, and judging by how he finished the race he would have gone close with more luck. Hopefully we get the rub of the green on day 2, and you can read my thoughts below.

Race 1

With a non runner already declared, there will be 7 runners in this race so it will be only the first two places for each way betting. However, I still think it may well be worth chancing one at a big price, and the outsider of the field Parish Boy could surprise with a big run. His last flat run for David Loughnane wasn’t totally devoid of promise at Wolves (8f) off 95 and he kept on pretty well to be beaten just over 5L at the finish despite being detached at the back as they turned in.

He boasted some extremely smart form back in Ireland when with Jim Bolger, beating Order of St George twice, including in a Listed race at Leopardstown (9f). This 5yo son of New Approach has had just 6 runs since that Listed win, and three of those came over timber. This will be his first flat run on turf for Loughnane, and he has his string in fine form. If those couple of hurdle runs have sweetened this fella up he could be dangerous off 93 and a small e/w interest is advised.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: PARISH BOY E/W @ 28/1

Race 2

Deauville is the selection and you can find out why I fancy him at Mybettingbonus.

Race 3

Mark Johnston had a couple run well here on Day 1, including a cracking effort from Yorkidding in the big one. He runs a couple in this race, and of the two Masham Star looks to be the one from a good draw in stall 2 and with Franny Norton in the saddle. This 3yo son of Lawman was quiet during a spell in Dubai earlier this season and he ran poorly on his return to domestic action at Newcastle.

That run came after a short break, so he is entitled to strip a lot fitter now. His mark of 100 is a slight worry, but his last win came off just 5lb lower and the way he won that day would suggest he is capable of getting involved off his current rating. This fella loves to make the running, and if he gets a good start from stall 2 he could be hard to peg back. At odds of 14/1 he looks to have a solid e/w chance.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: MASHAM STAR E/W @ 14/1 NAP

Race 4

Tamleek is the pick here and you can find out why I fancy him at Mybettingbonus.

Race 5

No strong fancy for this maiden.

Race 6

This 6f handicap looks a tricky puzzle to solve, but the one that appeals from an excellent draw is the Ed Dunlop trained Zamjar. This 3yo son of Exceed and Excel has been running mainly on all weather surfaces, but he has had three runs on turf and won once and placed once. His last run also came on the grass at Newbury, and he looked a non stayer over 7f.

He should be well suited by the drop back in trip here and he gets to race off a mark of 80, just 2lb above his last winning mark. He is versatile tactically, and hopefully he breaks well from stall 1 and manages to grab the rail. Andrea Atzeni has been booked, and he has 7 wins and 32 top 4 finishes from just 65 rides for Dunlop. Hopefully he enhances that fine record here, and Zamjar is our selection at odds of 6/1.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: ZAMJAR @ 6/1 NB

Race 7

There are few trainers in better form than David Griffiths at the moment, and he looks to have a good chance here with his 8yo son of Shamardal, Storm King. This 5 time winner last tasted success on the fibresand at Southwell back in March and he ran a cracker to be second there off a mark of 76 early last month. He makes his return to turf off a mark of 80, and that is 5lb below his last winning rating on grass.

He has run at Chester before, in a 7.5 handicap off a mark of 89 and he stayed on well for 4th, beaten just over 2L. He hasn’t been handed the best of draws in stall 8, so he will need to break well. If he does he looks weighted to run a big race and Griffiths has form figures of 437112 since the start of May. Storm King can be backed at odds of 10/1 and he is the each way suggestion in an open race.


STEVOS’ SELECTION: STORM KING E/W @ 10/1