Chester Races 2016 Day 3 Tips – Niall Cronin
The Chester Vase probably posed more questions than it answered or maybe it just told us that US Army Ranger isn’t up to winning an Epsom Derby next month.
The Ballydoyle team for that race looks to be thinner than usual but that said, Aidan O’Brien will be back at Chester on Friday looking to claim his third Classic trial in as many days.
Neither the Oaks entry, Somehow, or the Derby favourite, US Army Ranger, managed to produce a performance to meet expectations and in the Dee Stakes it is the turn of Cook Islands and Housesofparliament to put their credentials on show.
On Thursday we saw Port Douglas make a significant move in the Derby betting following his narrow defeat to US Army Ranger and it could be a case of something similar for Cook Islands on Friday.
You can currently back Cook Islands at 25/1 for the Derby with BoyleSports and although that doesn’t make any appeal at the moment,
I think he’ll be in line to be shortened after winning this trial for which he is 15/8.
Linguistic is the 15/8 joint favourite for the Godolphin team but the better ground and a run under his belt should aid Cook Islands and he could easily prove to be the most impressive of the O’Brien winners at Chester although that wouldn’t be saying a whole lot!
Willie Mullins has become fonder and fonder of keeping himself busy during the summer months with a small string of horses to campaign on the flat and in Wicklow Brave (10/3) he looks to have lined up a Cup horse for this season.
The seven-year-old has certainly been around the block running and in two of his last four starts he finished third behind the Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen and third in an Irish St Leger at the Curragh.
Finishing second in the Ebor at York last August appeared to open up more options for him on the flat and although he ran in the Morgiana Hurdle and then the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, connections obviously took the decision to then give him a break for a campaign back on the flat.
That has brought Wicklow Brave to Chester for the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes and it looks a good opportunity for him to get back to winning ways.
It is a race that has been won in the past by St Nicholas Abbey and Brown Panther and Mullins has booked William Buick for the ride.
Sir Michael Stoute’s team are in top form at the minute and Dartmouth is the obvious threat but will have to give away 3lbs and may well be flattered by his rating of 114.
Cook Islands 15/8 – 2:40 Chester
Wicklow Brave 10/3 – 3:10 Chester
Prices correct at time of publication