It's the final day of the prestigious Boodles May Festival, with the highlight of the meeting, the Chester Cup, taking centre stage.
Dubbed as the most valuable race in Chester's calendar of fixtures and, arguably, the most exciting race during the three-day event, the Chester Cup has produced some exhilarating battles on the Roodee Turf.
In 2019, Making Miracles lived up to his name on Chester Cup Day, delivering course specialist Franny Norton and trainer Mark Johnston a first win in the race.
Being just over a mile round, Chester is one of the smallest tracks in the country and horses are on the turn throughout.
The benefit of a good low draw was in full evidence here on Thursday and the Richard Spencer-trained Revich should thrive coming out of stall one in the opener today.
In the Huxley Stakes, Aidan O'Briens Armory is very much the one to beat as he drops in class on his seasonal return under Ryan Moore, who bids to win the race for a record-extending sixth time.
The Chester Cup will then see 17 runners travel over two miles in a hot field - and we've picked out a 16/1 tip for the big race.
13.45 Earl Grosvenor Handicap
Tip: Revich 5/2
It was due to mark the long-awaited return of Brentford Hope, who was one of the market leads for the Lincoln at Doncaster last month, before being pulled out on the day because the ground was too quick.
Unfortunately, it looks like we will have to wait a bit longer again after he was ruled out with a girth gall on Thursday morning.
With him now a non-runner, this should be one for Revich to take full advantage of - especially coming out of stall one.
The Richard Spencer-trained five-year-old has a fine record at Chester and is likely to kick on from the off once again - after making all here in August from the inside stall.
He also comes here on the back of a good fourth at Newbury last time out, finishing just behind the highly-rated Nugget and Danyah.
Thundering home late, @TomMarquand gets a great tune out of Revich to win going away at @ChesterRaces for @MprUpdates, @Philcun69 and @Richspencer89... pic.twitter.com/aLD6cLYaPw
- At The Races (@AtTheRaces) August 14, 2020
14.15 Huxley Stakes
Tip: Armory 6/5
Aidan O'Brien throws Armory, a son of Galileo, into the mix here - and will hope the four-year-old can replicate Japan's emphatic win in the Ormonde Stakes yesterday.
Armory showed very smart form as a three-year-old and looks to appeal as the type to progress further this season.
He heads into the race with leading claims after finishing runner-up in the Group 1 Cox Plate last time out in October before chasing home star duo Magical and Ghaiyyath in the Irish Champion Stakes.
Dramatic :100:th Cox Plate sees Ballydoyle's Armory pipped by former stable mate Sir Dragonet, trained by Aidan O'Brien until last month.
Smart investment by new owner Ozzie Kheir, who bought the horse to :flag_au: after a few :cocktail::cocktail::cocktail:
- Horse Racing Ireland (@HRIRacing) October 24, 2020
14.45 Chester Cup Handicap
Tip: Glencadam Glory 16/1
In what looks like a fairly particularly open renewal, Tim Easterby's Glencadam Glory is the preference here.
The seven-year-old, by Nathaniel, is well treated on his second-place finish in the Ebor at York last year, and his prominent-running style is often seen to good effect around Chester.
Not So Sleepy is another likely to be ridden on the pace if getting out sharply from stall 13 and he rates a big threat, while Cardano and Who Dares Wins, who has twice been placed in this, are also on the shortlist.
FUJAIRA PRINCE wins the 2020 Sky Bet Ebor Handicap at @yorkracecourse for @Atzenijockey and @varianstable!
Glencadam Glory plugged on well for 2nd and Verdana Blue ran on well for third. pic.twitter.com/dq0KFkm4ia
- Timeform (@Timeform) August 22, 2020
15.15 Boodles Conditions Stakes
Tip: El Astronaute 5/4
El Astronaute is a very likeable and consistent sprinter who has a fantastic record at this track, so he is once again of interest.
The eight-year-old boats electric early speed as one of his main assets and he should prove hard to peg back round here.
He goes particularly well when fresh, too, so it's likely that this race has been on his agenda for a while.
Coming out of stall four, he's taken to see off the less-experienced King's Lynn, who should strip fitter for his recent comeback run.
El Astronaute finds more to take the Betway Achilles Stakes at @DoncasterRaces
Tricky to load but straight forward in the running#ITVRacing pic.twitter.com/Z3g2cYbn54
- ITV Racing (@itvracing) June 14, 2020
15.45 Retraining Of Racehorses Handicap
Tip: Fox Tal 9/2
Fox Tal makes his handicap debut, having found Group 3 company too hot to handle on his last two starts of 2020.
Fourth in the Champion Stakes back in 2019, Andrew Balding's charge could be good enough to land this if he retains that ability.
With that said, the combination of a gelding operation and first-time headgear may just be enough to prompt a revival from the five-year-old.
Meanwhile, Restorer - the 2018 winner of this race - signed off last season with a course and distance success and evidently relishes it round here.
Lawn Ranger is another danger and is a previous track-and-trip scorer who could be better for a recent spin on the all-weather.
And here he is.... #FoxTal pic.twitter.com/lvlJfQU9sO
- Alex Hammond (@skysportsAlexH) September 11, 2019
16.20 Chester Plate Handicap
Tip: Elysian Flame 11/2
In what looks like a cracking Chester Plate, Michael Easterby's Elysian Flame looks hard to oppose.
The five-year-old shoulders just a 3lb penalty for his useful win in a strong two-mile handicap at Newbury three weeks ago - and he could be even better over this marathon trip.
Elsewhere in the betting, Roger Varian's lightly-raced Postileo is a likely improver, too, especially at this distance.
Recent winners in Brasca and Hydroplane need a second look, also.
:fire: The flame lights up at @NewburyRacing
Elysian Flame shows a great attitude to see off Almighwar in a thrilling finish to this £35,000 prize for @MickEasterby & Nathan Evans
Results & free replays :arrow_right: https://t.co/sBcsavHpYf pic.twitter.com/64JlUTVyQc
- Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 16, 2021
16.50 Racing Welfare Supporting Racing's Workforce Apprentice Handicap
Tip: Socially Shady 16/1
A few in here have a solid chance, but a chance is taken on Socially Shady, who could appreciate the return to turf.
Meanwhile, Heart Of Soul landed this contest in 2019 and he's taken to chase the selection home on his return to action, ahead of stable-switcher Carlos Felix.
Top work @_benacurtis - @karl_burke's Socially Shady certainly didn't look the winner two out, but flies under a smart ride to win at @RiponRaces... pic.twitter.com/e1zclXuJTs
- At The Races (@AtTheRaces) July 8, 2020
Odds are correct at the time of publication and are, as always, subject to change.
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