Chester Cup Tips: Falcon to Light up Roodee for Weld and Dettori

Chester Cup Tips: Dermot Weld
Chester Cup Tips: Dermot Weld

Steve Chambers previews the 2021 Chester Cup, and picks out his best bet for the staying showpiece on Friday afternoon...

Switched to the final day of Chester's May meeting, the Chester Cup certainly hasn't lost any of its appeal, as a star-studded field is set to go to post for the 2m 2f 140y marathon. Yet again there will be some horses seen in the winter tackling decent National Hunt races taking on some returning Flat stayers, and it's the Hughie Morrison-trained Not So Sleepy that heads the betting, at the time of writing.

An excellent fifth in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival just shows what level of company Not So Sleepy was keeping over the sticks, while he was last seen finishing seventh in the Aintree Hurdle during the Grand National meeting. Last seen on the Flat finishing fourth in the Cesarewitch, Not So Sleepy showed he can perform to a high level on the Flat, and if he's at his best then he warrants respect. However, he was given a 2lb rise for that Cesarewitch display, and a mark of 100 looks to potentially be too much for this classy performer, and he may just struggle to get his head in front.

Ralph Beckett's Future Investment locked horns with Not So Sleepy in the Cesarewitch Handicap and only managed to finish eleventh, but having been kept on the same mark of 96, he will look to reverse that Newmarket form on Friday. Unlike Not So Sleepy he's not been running over jumps, so will be making his seasonal reappearance and is proving popular among the punters. On his last visit to Chester he was seen winning off a mark of 90, so will need to improve on that effort here, and having been drawn in stall 15 he's going to find it awfully tough to gain a handy position, and could prove vulnerable.

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Dermot Weld saddles a fascinating contender in the shape of Falcon Eight, who will have the burden of top weight, but if he can produce his best form then looks to have the class to get his head in front. Hovering around the double-figured odds mark, Falcon Eight was last seen finishing fourth behind Twilight Payment in the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes at the Curragh last June. With Twilight Payment having etched a Melbourne Cup victory on his CV then it's red-hot rock-solid form, and with Frankie Dettori in the saddle, Falcon Eight looks a key player.

The six-year-old son of Galileo will have to try and bag a handy position from stall ten, which could be tricky, but ultimately he could well have far too much class for his opposition, and a mark of 104 looks workable, and the master of Rosewell House can add another big-race success to his glittering roll of honour.

Alan King's Who Dares Wins was a gallant runner-up in the 2019 Chester Cup behind Making Miracles, but he is 3lb higher in the weights this time around, and while he was an impressive winner of the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot last June, he may find it hard to follow up here. The Grand Visir was behind Who Dares Wins at Royal Ascot, and the pair should finish within close proximity once again here, but Who Dares Wins has the better draw, so it's best to opt with him in that mini clash.

Mark Johnston saddled Making Miracles to victory in the last running of this race in 2019, and he will have five runners taking their chance here, with the two that catch the eye being Hochfeld and Trumpet Man. The latter will come on significantly for a sixth place finish at Musselburgh last time out, where he was beaten by stablemate Themaxwecan (failed to follow up next time out) and has to be considered, while Hochfeld is stepping significantly up in trip for this event, but does line up in excellent form, so has to be respected.

Of the others, Coeur De Lion sneaks in at the bottom of the weights for the abovementioned Alan King, but he will need to improve significantly from his recent outing at Newbury, while Tim Easterby's Glencadam Glory is another worthy of a mention, but this race could all behind about Messrs Weld and Dettori, who can team up and help Falcon Eight defy top weight and claim the coveted Chester Cup crown.

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Falcon Eight silk

Falcon Eight

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