A course like Chester can often leave punters scratching their heads, with the idiosyncratic track and the well-touted draw bias often playing a part.
And even the big staying race of the May Festival, the Chester Cup, cannot escape the grasp of those all important trends.
Of last year’s runners, five take their chance again, with the first, second and fourth all lining up.
So can Marwan Koukash’s Suegioo defend his crown? Probably not if these trends are to be believed.
- – Horses aged between five and seven have taken nine of the last 10 runnings
- – Eight of the last 10 winners carried between 8-11 and 9-6 to victory
- – 10 of the last 13 winners were rated between 93 and 99
- – Only four winners in two decades had yet to win over 2m
- – Just one winner in the last 10 years had already run that season
- – 12 or the last 18 winners were drawn in stall seven or lower
- – Unexposed types do well with 13 of the last 16 winners taking more than two handicap victories
While it’s tough to pick one horse on the basis of these trends, a couple of relatively well supported types in Trip to Paris and Famous Kid ticking just one box and being brushed aside with ease.
A quartet of the 17 entries meet five of the seven trends and make our shortlist.
Buthelezi certainly comes here in form, having triumphed at Musselburgh last month, but despite the fact he’s won over 2m over hurdles, his stamina is not assured.
On the level, he was well beaten on his sole effort over this sort of trip, so just misses out for us.
Mubaraza was a solid fourth in the race last year, clearly handles the track and is weighted best to reverse the form with those above him, however his efforts since have lacked encouragement.
Well beaten in the Cambridgeshire and the Cesarewitch, Ed Dunlop’s charge could only manage fifth at Kempton on his return.
Tony Martin’s Quick Jack is a respected favourite, having run the best races of his career, be it over hurdles or on the flat, in these big handicaps.
Last seen finishing third in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham, he is likely to run a massive race, having made the first three in all of his last 11 starts.
But for those looking for a big prize winner look no further than Brian Ellison’s EDGE OF SANITY.
He has a poor draw in stall 14 to overcome, but he looks an unexposed type over these trips. He finished second at the Curragh behind subsequent Ebor winner Mutual Regard before going on to take a competitive contest over 2m at the same meeting.
The six-year-old got a pipe opener in over an inadequate distance at Doncaster, sits well within the weights bracket for a normal winner of this race and can go well for Paul Mulrennan
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.