We run through all of the main contenders for the 2018 Chester Cup
Stargazer and Magic Circle head a field of 17 runners for the Chester Cup on Friday.
The pair look set to go off near the top of the market as favourite-backers bid for only a fifth win in the renewal since 1975.
The previous six winners have all come at odds of 10/1 or greater, which should give some indication of how difficult this race is to call.
Magic Circle’s form isn’t much to shout home about either.
Ian Williams’ charge has only won once in his last eight starts, although that was a difficult looking Class 2 Handicap contest at York.
He’s more at home over the longer distances, so the 2m2f on offer to him here should certainly suit.
Can he improve on last year’s fifth in this renewal? It’ll be a tough ask.
Stargazer has fared slightly better of late and can be considered unlucky to have been bumped down to second after coming out on top at Newcastle last time out.
His disqualification that day means that the five-year-old remains stuck on one victory from eight career starts.
Philip Kirby will try his raider over 2m+ on turf for the first time at Chester. Based on a neck second the time before last at Newcastle on the all-weather, it could be an inspired choice.
Time to Study makes significant interest back in Handicap Company following an impressive second in the Sagaro Cup at Ascot last week. He’s won or placed on 10 of his 12 career starts.
Dubawi Fifty could face a tough time of things in stall 10 but does have champion jockey Silvestre De Souza on-board to help him out.
Two wins from three on turf reads well – as does a fourth-place finish in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket last year. He’s a progressive sort and certainly looks one to watch.
Who Dares Wins finished fourth in this race last year and is expected to go well again on his return to the flat. He’s shown before that he has the stamina to last the trip.
The booking of top jockey Ryan Moore adds to his claims, and he’ll need to be at his best to defy a nightmare draw which is closer to Chester Castle than the stand side rail.
Grandee is a one-timer Listed winner who could come on well for his second-place at Ripon last time out.
Meanwhile, it’s My Reward who has the plum draw in stall one. He’s a front-runner who could be difficult to reel in if he can take a lead early on.
Watersmeet will need a dramatic improvement on his turf form if he wants to challenge, while Nakeeta will need to overcome a difficult draw and top-weight if he wants to put in a genuine bid for Iain Jardine.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication