The Sunday racing once again features one card from each code this afternoon, and as a punter who largely leaves the summer jumping alone to focus on the Flat it’s pretty slim pickings today.
The action at Chester certainly has some quality to it and I’ll be having a few small bets on the card, without getting overly confident about any of the three selections below.
First up is Richard Fahey’s Delph Crescent in the opening Novice Stakes over 7f at 2.05. A half-brother to Baccarat who won second time out for the Richard Fahey stable a few years back, Delph Crescent shaped with enough encouragement at Haydock on debut to think he can follow suit.
Having been green at both ends of the race he was ultimately no match for Mildenberger (who has boosted the form since) that day and came home in third spot but travelled more comfortably than anything for much of the race and looks likely to improve with a run and experience behind him.
The draw has been kind enough with stall three and though easier ground is an unknown for the son of Dark Angel conditions are unlikely to be testing so I’m happy to take the chance that he proves effective with a little bit of give underfoot. Although 15-8 is no giveaway it will do.
I’m sticking with the juveniles for the second selection of the day as Haddaf catches my eye at 5-1 in the Conditions Race due off at 2.35. James Tate’s youngster has plenty of strong form in the book, including a close third behind Havana Grey and Frozen Angel in the National Stakes at Sandown in May and impressed with the way he went through the race in a Listed contest at Vichy in France last time.
He seemed extremely comfortable on the easy ground that day but was just outpointed late, having travelled best, and looks like a horse who will improve for a return to 6f having only tried the trip once previously in the Coventry at Royal Ascot.
I always find it frustrating when two horses I’ve noted as being of interest next time turn up in the same race and that’s exactly what has happened in the MBNA Festival Of Football Handicap at 3.10.
I was very impressed with Zenon at Haydock last time, as I felt he did very well to win having lost his place when stumbling at the top of the straight and the way he stuck on to score decisively marked him down as a stayer to follow.
All of his form looks strong and on a galloping track I’d be very keen on him but given he’s such a short price at 6-4 around a tight track I’m instead going to side with another recent eye-catcher, Tor, who I’m hoping might well get the run of the race in front.
A winner at Hamilton two starts ago, Tor shaped very well when just overdoing things in front at Ayr earlier in the week and has the look of a horse who will be well suited by the demands of Chester. He lacks the longer-term potential of Zenon, but today might well offer his optimum test and with the dead-eight currently standing their ground it is worth supporting the gelding each-way at 6-1.
Chris Dixon’s Sunday tips: (Prices correct at 10am)
2.05 Chester: Delph Crescent at 15-8 generally available
3.10 Chester: Tor each-way at 6-1 generally available