One of my favourite meetings of the year is held in the first week of May at Chester. With the first two Classics out of the way, and the end of the jumps season last weekend, the Flat season proper is now underway.
Chester has some incredible history, which I am going to bore you with now. It’s an incredibly picturesque course and you can see the old City Walls surrounding part of the track.
The racecourse lies on the banks of the Dee. It was a harbour during Roman times but was closed as the river silted up thus making navigation impossible. Towards the centre of the in field is a raised mound which is decorated by a small cross known as a “rood”. It is from this that the race course derives the name “Roodee”; Roodee is a corruption of “Rood Eye”, meaning “The Island of the Cross”.
Racing began on the site in 1539 and was allowed by the then Mayor Henry Gee. This is where the term “Gee-Gee” comes from. The course is an oval, akin to a Greyhound track. It is 1m and 1furlong around and runs anti clockwise. It’s tight turns and very short straight of 239 yards make it very challenging.
So enough of the history lesson. What about Trading?
What you will see from the next 3 days is well catalogued. Races over 5 and 6 furlongs favour heavily runners drawn low. They have a huge advantage. Hold up horses always struggle here. that’s not to say it’s not impossible to be held up and win. But track position; even in longer races is very important. I think having a well balanced horse is important too. They are always turning. Pretty sure the back 2 lay boys will be out in force today. It could be a way in to piggy back some of the late money as the low runners are backed. But it’s by no means a given it will happen. Be aware of being on a low drawn drifter. It could turn quickly against you close to the off.
Look for Tom Dascombe runners too. Dascombe trains for the Ex Football Legend and Pundit Michael Owen at Manor House Stables. This huge , well financed operation is local to Chester and Owen’s favourite place being a Chester boy. I always look for his runners here, if there is money down they usual keep steaming in. As with any trade I get involved in. The most important thing I am looking for is my signals that I use to identify a trade. But if you are armed with the knowledge of perhaps why a runner is moving in a certain direction, then it gives added confidence and I can stake accordingly. Just a quick scan through sees Dascombe as the Fav in the 1st Race. The 2:10 Lily Agnes Stakes – Fiery Character. In the 3:45 he also has the favourite. It’s called Roudee (hmmmm). He also has the big 40/1 outsider in the 4:20.
The other trainer to look out for is Adien O’Brein. He likes to run some of his nicer young horses here.
There are some good races today. The highlight being the Chester Cup. Run over 2m 2f (2 complete circuits) and with 19 runners it is very competitive. Not sure of a way in yet as a trading angle.
Have a good un – Steve