Tony Calvin returns with his best bets for the last day of Chester's May Meeting including a 14/1 fancy in the Chester Cup...
"he is unexposed at this trip, and I think current connections picked up a bargain at 22,000 guineas at the sales last October."
Grandee a potential bargain for new yard
Grandee is certainly not a horse who "ticks all the boxes" in the Chester Cup at 15:35, but his 16/1 price tag more than compensates for those doubts.
The most obvious concern is his stamina for this contest, as he has never raced beyond 1m6f and tuned up for this contest with a run over 1m4f at Ripon. And I'll admit that it doesn't fill me with total confidence that he was also entered in the 1m2f handicap on this card.
The counter argument is that he is unexposed at this trip, and I think current connections picked up a bargain at 22,000 guineas at the sales last October.
That was what I gleaned from his second on his debut for his in-form yard, and he is actually 3lb well-in here based on that effort. And he is well drawn in three, too.
His back form for Jessica Harrington, before he went right off the boil (hence the value price-tag at the sales) also gives you encouragement.
He actually took his chance in the Irish Derby as a 33/1 chance, surprising no-one in finishing last admittedly, but you could easily argue that his best effort in Ireland was a third over 1m6f at Down Royal last July and good ground or a bit of dig suits him very well.
His earlier 2¼ length win in a Leopardstown Listed race also worked out very well, with the runner-up Eziyra going on to finish third in the Irish Oaks as well as winning two Group 3's in her three subsequent starts, and I am more than happy to take my chance with a well-handicapped horse at the price, stamina doubts or not.
His half-brother Weather Watch stayed two miles really well, though, and the stable is in good form now after a slow start to the season. He has form on fast and deep ground, so we have no worries on that score, though Wednesday's rain was probably a bonus.
Magic Circle, on his first start for Ian Williams, has an obvious chance after pulling a better draw than he did when fifth last year and deserves to head the market.
But his current price is no more than fair and the one I like most of the remainder is Dubai Fifty, who comes here after three improved efforts on the weather and who will enjoy this longer trip. He would be next-best in the race, but I am happy to reply on Grandee to do the business.
Goring could go well in the opener
Gossiping caught many an eye, I'll wager, on his return to turf at Newmarket when a 66/1 shot and given a sympathetic ride and he was the one that jumped out at me in the opener at 13:50.
He has been dropped 2lb for that, too, and is now just 2lb higher than when winning at Goodwood last May, so he has definite prospects if getting the run of the race and is fair at a double-figure price.
If he doesn't, a return to the Sussex track at the end of the month could pay dividends. Goring is going the other way in the weights and he has gone up 24lb for four wins and a third at Lingfield last time.
I wouldn't be in a rush to dismiss that he could translate that improvement to turf here, albeit out of stall 11, but this is a devilishly difficult race I can easily leave alone.
The same is also true of the Huxley Stakes at 14:25, in which I suspect the favourite Eminent will take a fair bit of beating.
He could be taken on for the lead by Frankuus but the Irish Champion Stakes third holds a class edge over these rivals, and won the Craven first time out last season. If he can edge out in front from stall one, he could take some reeling in.
But he only has 3lb in hand of the race-fit, Earl Of Sefton winner Forest Ranger - and, indeed, the rest of the field are no mugs, either - so I wouldn't be taking too short a price about him.
Gabrial's King to go well fresh again
The 2016 winner Dark Red and Battersea are my duo against the field in the 15:00, but it is no surprise to see them occupy two of the top three places in the market, so Grandee is my sole play in the four ITV races.
The 5f conditions race doesn't appeal to me but the two handicaps on the end of the card do, and Gabrial's King appeals in the extended 1m4f handicap at 16:40.
He is a hold-up horse, so I am not going overboard about the fact that he is berthed in stall one, but the handicapper has given him a right chance here.
As befits a horse with his owner-trainer profile (and they aren't having a bad week after an opening-day double), this course winner has heaps of good efforts at this track to his name, and the handicapper dropped him 9lb for three poor runs at the end of last season.
You would have thought he would have been freshened up and primed for this meeting, and his reappearance form figures read 216231.
Indeed, he races off a 9lb lower mark than when winning first time out at Thirsk last season and the weather can do what it wants as he is versatile as regards ground. Back him at [7.0] or bigger.
I wouldn't rule out his stablemate, the old rogue Suegioo, finally coming good from his current mark in the Chester Plate in the finale - he really should be going close off a mark of 85 from stall three - but he hasn't won since taking the Chester Cup in 2014 and that tells a story.
Back Grandee at [15.0] or bigger in 15:35
Back Gabrial’s King at [7.0] or bigger in 16:40