A slight gain of over half a point yesterday so plus 98.5 overall.

Friends of mine are going to the Chester party fest and I will be selecting on most races as is now usual for this site at all festivals. I always do well at this meeting and yet I have never seen such a difficult opening day.

A low draw is important over sprint trips and even up to the 7 1/2 furlong distance, however this lessens on easier ground and you can come wide to challenge and get up late down the outside.

Chester 1 45, No banker here over this speed test and anything with a wide draw is usually dead. I would caution slightly though this time as the quality is so poor. I am going to plump for SLEEPY JOE who has early speed and is well berthed in gate 7. Mick Channon trains his horses for a turn of foot so hopefully he can get us off to a good start. 1 pt win at 6/1 with Boylesports and several UK layers.

Chester 2 15. The Oaks trial. A very poor renewal and this years Oaks winner is hardly in this field. REYAADAH looks the best and by a bit. She has been well beaten by the likes of Certify [??], Hot Snap and Sky Lantern but has always raced as if she wanted much further. Today she gets her chance and no excuses. 1 pt win at 6/1 with Paddy Power.

Chester 2 45. The Chester Cup. The National Lottery. A minefield. I will go for OLYMPIAD, trained by Dermot Weld. The Rosewell trainer has a serious chance in the preceeeding Oaks trial but might take this one instead. Weld will never travel a horse overseas unless he really fancies it. OLYMPIAD must have a flat track on fast ground with a long run in. He gets the first two but this is the shortest posible run in but he is going over a marathon distance so I will take a chance on that. A half point win at 12/1 which is readily available everywhere.

Chester 3 15. I can tell you GATEPOST has been laid out for this. 1 pt win and nap at 5/1 with all bookies.

Chester 3 50. I am going to take a chance on BUTTERFLY MCQUEEN to upset the boys in this very competitive maiden. Her form stands up from her only run . Stoute has the hot fav and Varian has a decent sort in this also but she has a real shot .The draw has not been kind. 1 pt win at 11/1 with Stan James. Ladbrokes are laying 12 /1 if you want to have a euro on. They RUK AND ATR channels can trot out the husky voiced Hayley O Connor all they like but none of us are fooled.

Chester 4 25. My second best bet at the Roodee drinking venue is FACE THE PROBLEM. He is best fresh and can really fly late on. I am confident. 1 pt win at 4/1 everywhere.

Chester 5 00. MAJEED is a bit of a boyo and you wouldn’t want to stand to near to him but he has had a 70 day break and could land this with a turn of foot . 1 pt win at 9/2 with PP.

More on other meetings later.


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