Steve Hughes has two selections for Thursday afternoon
The Chester card does not look so enticing for the second day of their big meeting, but the Group 3 Huxley Stakes warrants attention. However I am going to Catterick for my second choice in a veterans sprint. We enjoyed a great Chester Cup day with Montaly winning the big race (advised 18/1) and El Astronaute also scoring (advised 4/1 prior to deductions for NR’s)
Chester 2.25: Deauville
Chester has usually been a happy hunting ground for Aidan O’Brien and whilst this week is usually about finding out about classic hopefuls for the summer, Deauville also takes the trip across the Irish Sea for this Group 3.
Indeed he has been something of a globetrotter having not run in Ireland since winning his first two races as a juvenile in the summer of 2015. He was placed in two Group 2 races after that, notably when running a bold race in the Dante at York, however he was a clear non-stayer in the Derby.
He showed good tactical speed to win around Belmont Park in a Grade 1 in the States last summer, something that could be important with this track in mind and was a good third in the Arlington Million. Although he disappointed on his return at Meydan in March, he was much more like his old self when second at Sandown recently and he should now be primed for this race.
Catterick 4.45: Vallarta
He tends to be placed more often than he wins but Vallarta is in good heart at present and against fellow veterans he might just have found the right race to get his head in front.
He only has 5 wins to his name, but has been placed on a further 19 occasions and at least he is an each-way price here. Although his last win was gained over 7f at Ayr, he looked a bit headstrong at that trip at Musselburgh last week and did well in the circumstances to finish third, beaten just a length.
That made it three third places in a row so he is in decent shape and clearly on a fair mark at present and this could well be a truly run race over 6f with the likes of Meandmyshadow in the race and that might well suit Vallarta perfectly.
2pts win – Deauville – 2.25 Chester – 15/8 general
1pt each-way – Vallarta – 4.45 Catterick – 13/2 Bet365, BetVictor