My ride in the Dee Stakes is Mohtarrif for the boss Sheikh Hamdan. He won nicely on the all-weather in March, and Marcus Tregoning likes him a lot and has had this race in mind for a while. He shouldn’t mind the ease in the ground now the rain has come, and while he is the outsider of the field and needs to step up quite a bit, he’s drawn well in 2 and Marcus wouldn’t be running him if he didn’t think he was up to it and he could certainly outrun his odds.
I’ve picked up a nice ride for Tom Dascombe in the 7 furlong handicap in Drogon. He’s having his first start for over 200 days but he’s another who is drawn well, in 4, and from that stall we can go forward early. Tom is a trainer who loves this course and this meeting so I’m sure he’ll have him primed for this.
Owner Marwan Koukash is another who loves Chester, and so I was pleased to get the ride on Magic Circle in the Ormonde. I won on this horse when he was with Ralph Beckett and have always kept an eye on him, and I actually got stuck behind him in the Melbourne Cup, when he wasn’t travelling at all, although it turned out he burst a blood vessel that day. He’s a talented horse who won’t mind the ease in the ground, he won the Chester Cup and Group 3 Henry II last season, and getting 7 pounds from Kew Gardens here gives him a major chance.
Bomb Proof is making his debut, and is drawn in stall 11 which is not ideal. We’ll know a lot more after this race obviously but he’ll have to be quite useful to overcome this draw on his first run.
My final ride of the day is Kasbaan, again for Sheikh Hamdan. He’s drawn out in the car park, widest of all in 14, which is a shame, as we really have to get a run into him and there aren’t that many races for him. He’s a nice horse but round here we’re going to need an awful lot of luck from that draw.