ITV Races - Tony Calvin

Thursday ITV Racing Tips: Tony's 14/1 day two Chester bet.

Betfair Ambassador Tony Calvin
Tony Calvin has a sole 14/1 selection on Thursday at Chester

Tony Calvin heads back to Chester for day two of the May meeting on Thursday and provides a 14/1 win-only bet in the feature 15:40...

  • Tony Calvin has a sole selection on day two from Chester's May meeting

  • 14/115.00 Enemy can land the feature on Thursday

  • Chester set for quick ground with dry forecast

Make sure you get your money back if you punted either Thunderbear or Count D'Orsay ante-post for the 5f handicap at Chester at 13:30 on Thursday, as they were balloted out.

As a matter of fact, you probably had a result as this is your archetypal unfathomable 12-runner sprint handicap, with the Chester factor adding a further layer of difficulty.

But, then again, you knew that all already if you were parting with the readies long-term.

Chester - 13:30: No Bet

As you'd expect, there is pace everywhere in this race, from Democracy Dilemma in two all the way out to the in-form Night On Earth in stall 12, with the latter a top-priced 10s with the Betfair Sportsbook.

Stick the latter in trap one, and he is favourite, but you know the score by now.

Take away from the draw factor - and you obviously cannot - I had most time in this for Manila Scouse at 7/18.00.

He shaped very well on his return to finish second to a well-handicapped sprinter finally getting his act together in the shape of Illusionist at Wetherby last month, and he races off the same mark here.

That is still 1lb lower than when a narrow third in a big field at York last September and his only previous start here saw him beaten a mere head.

However, the positives are probably outweighed by his midfield draw in seven and the fact that he ideally would want a bit more dig - it is likely to be nearly good to firm come Thursday afternoon - and I would want more than 7s to take the risk get gets a half-decent run round.

Chester - 14:05: No Bet

Regular readers will know we can deal with the 5f 2yo race at 14:05 pretty quickly.

Only one horse has raced beyond after their debut effort, the Hugo Palmer-trained Far Above Mary, and we also have three newcomers in this 10-runner contest.

Palmer is actually responsible for two of the debutants, so the now-local blueblood is looking for a home win. I thought Rashabar would have been the right favourite after his run at Newbury, but being drawn 10 of 10 is no advertisement for his chances.

As the pace map below underlines, none of the raced horses have led before, so something has to give.

Chester - 14:35: No Bet

Never So Brave has not been in the missed in the market for the nine-runner 7f127yd handicap at 14:35, as he trades at the 6/42.50 favourite with the Sportsbook.

Now, profiles don't get much sexier than this - at least in terms of Chester handicaps, they don't - as he is a well-bred colt who was highly unfortunate to bump into subsequent Group 1 winners in both starts at two and he gave a couple of fair sorts a good tonking on soft on his return at Thirsk, a race he won by 4 lengths in a very good time.

Maybe, a mark of 94 massively underestimates him - and it may well - but 6/42.50 seems a high price to pay if you want to side with him, especially as this will probably be the quickest ground he has raced on (Timeform called it good for his debut win) and it's obviously a quirky enough track, too.

He is simply the kind of horse I can happily just let win.

The problem is his presence in here has such an air and stamp of authority that I am not overly-keen to take him on, especially as the two horses that I would consider each-way against him, Dashing Darcey and Nellie Leylax, seem to concur with the Sportsbook's odds-compilers' view of the race.

Namely, they are a fair bit bigger elsewhere, so no dice.

Chester - 15:05: No Bet

Before the revised prices came out for the five-runner Dee Stakes at 15:05, I was getting set for a big ole swing at Harper's Ferry, but I was a touch underwhelmed by the 16s across the board if truth be told, given the official ratings would have him getting up to 23lb from these in a handicap.

But, of course, he has the pedigree (his dam is Oaks winner Talent) and the potential and I was quite taken by his Windsor win last time.

However, I was hoping for nearer 33s, if not more. You may well get that on the day win-only on the exchange, but I have to deal with the here and now, and the general 16s is not quite cutting it.

The other four in the race range from 2/13.00 to 7/24.50 with the Sportsbook, and I don't have a strong betting view at those prices.

I'd side with Jayarebe at 11/43.75 if pushed as I was mightily impressed with his Feilden win, and the third strolled home at Newmarket last week (with the Feilden runner-up Whip Cracker flailing in behind).

Yes, the 11/43.75 is fair, but I'd fear all three of his market rivals and he is the only one in here carrying a 3lb penalty.

Chester - 15:40: Back Enemy

We are one shy of an each way 1,2,3 betting race in the Ormonde Stakes at 15:40, and I went sniffing for an upset in this too, as 6/42.50 chance Arrest (a monumental drifter on his return at Newbury) has a far-from-solid profile, especially on this drying ground, and 9/43.25 market rival Point Lonsdale is unproven over the trip.

Granted, they are the form horses and were winners at this very meeting last year, but I wouldn't mind getting the pair in the can at those prices and have the field running for me at firmly odds-against.

The now-blinkered Deauville Legend is the clear best of the best of the rest, as his price of 9/25.50 suggests. But, being more specific, I landed four-square on Enemy at 14/115.00 win-only with the Sportsbook, or 15.014/1 and bigger on the exchange.

On paper, he ran a disappointing race at Meydan last time, when a 33s poke - actually that is stretching it, as it wasn't that bad, given the way the race panned out - but he just didn't have the speed to come from second-last in a steadily-run contest, in order to make his presence felt, so I'd be very forgiving of that run.

He earlier ran the hugely impressive Dubai Gold Cup winner Tower Of London to a head off levels in Riyadh, having previously beaten Military Order at Southwell, as well as running crackers off big weights in handicaps earlier.

He will love the drying ground, so I sincerely hope they don't water - he clearly wouldn't have relished the soft when fifth of six in this race last season, but he certainly didn't disgrace himself - and I rate him a great bet at 14s with the Sportsbook.

He looks more of an 8s poke to me in here, if that. To clarify he is 16s in a place, and a general 12s. Any double-figures appeals.

I fundamentally disagree with staking plans, as I have said before, and I wouldn't be alone in that train of thought - in fact, someone asked me about this again on X recently, and I will expand on this soon in a column when space allows, but basically you should let your strength of written argument dictate - but Enemy rates a decent bet at double-figures, as he is surely in the form of his life.

He may be the old man of the party here at seven, but he can still lead this particular conga.

Huntingdon - 13:50: No Bet

We also have Huntingdon on the box, with the 2m3f137yd handicap at 13:50 on ITV.

I'm not getting involved but I had a good go on Cottie at Cheltenham last time and she disappointed me there, cutting out quickly after seemingly going well to 3 out.

Perhaps she will redeem herself off a 2lb lower mark here over a slightly shorter trip on a less demanding track, but there is no need to force the issue in 0-110 handicap hurdles at this time of year.

Good luck.


Chester: Good (dry forecast; 19 degrees)

Huntingdon: Good (dry and sunny forecast; 19 degrees)


James Ferguson - blinkers - 2-15 (since 2020)


1.30pm Chester: Democracy Dilemma, Changeofmind, Michaela's Boy, Clearpoint (prom), Manila Scouse, Radio Goo Goo, Night On Earth, Copper Night, Roman Dragon (normally midfield but has sat handy around here)

1.50pm Huntingdon: King Of The Road, Fautinette, Jaramillo, Cottie?

2.05pm Chester: very little evidence but none have made running so far

2.35pm Chester: Nellie Leylax, Grey Cuban (prom), Dashing Darcey (prom), Celtic Warrior, Brunel Nation (prom)

3.05pm Chester: Capulet, Jayarebe, God's Window

3.40pm Chester: Arrest, Point Lonsdale, Winter Wyldes

BALLOTED OUT (money back for ante-post punters):

1.30pm: Thunderbear, Count D'Orsay

4.10pm: Mahboob, Enthused, Ernie's Valentine, Bodorgan, Clear Angel, Kitsune Power, Jean Baptiste, Victoria Falls

TRAINER FORM - for all with entries in Thursday's ITV races (does not include Wednesday's results):

Good: Andrew Balding, Karl Burke, John & Thady Gosden, Robert Cowell, Roger Varian, Richard Hughes (tailing off slightly), Ed Walker , Dan Skelton, Greenall & Guerriero

Fair: Richard Fahey, Mick Appleby (despite winners), Hugo Palmer, Tom Dascombe (maybe more good), Ian Williams, Kevin Frost, Declan Carroll (borderline moderate), David Evans. Alice Haynes (borderline moderate), Jessie Harrington. Nigel Tinkler (not many winners and borderline moderate), Tom Clover, Sir Michael Stoute (only one winner in 2024 from very few runners), James Ferguson, Charlie Fellowes, Venetia Williams, Chris Down (good second at 9-1, and very few runners), Warren Greatrex (two winners but rest running averagely on whole), Jonjo O'Neill, Max Young (a 66-1 winner and rest run poorly at similarly huge prices). John Jenkins,

Moderate: Tim Easterby (despite winners), Ralph Beckett (but definitely coming to the boil more; had two recent winners), Aidan O'Brien, Simon Hodgson, James Owen (3/1 winner at Fakenham on Tuesday), Brian Meehan, David Loughnane (couple of decent seconds), Ben Pauling (though some have run very well, and won), Emma Lavelle, Alan King, Neil King

Now read Ryan Moore Day Two Chester May Meeting: Four of interest on Thursday

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