Chester Cup Ante-Post Preview – Two Value Selections Against the Favourite!

Future Investment looks a live player in Friday's Chester Cup.Future Investment looks a live player in Friday's Chester Cup.

2021 Chester Cup Ante-Post Preview

Almighwar Heads the Betting

The Boodles May Festival is the biggest in Chester’s calendar. The meeting’s feature race is the Chester Cup, an extended 2m2f handicap which is worth just shy of £65,000 to the winner. This Friday’s renewal of the Chester Cup promises to be a cracking renewal, and in anticipation of the race, we have taken an ante-post look at the Chester Cup – identifying two selections currently available at odds of 10/1 and 16/1 respectively.

Friday’s Chester Cup market is currently headed by John & Thady Gosden’s Almighwar, and it is not difficult to see why the colt has attracted such sustained support since the betting opened.

A beautifully-bred second foal out of the superb Oaks & King George winning Taghrooda, Almighwar has been limited to just the six starts in his career to date, winning on two occasions – both victories coming in 1m4f Kempton novice races.

Almighwar proved his effectiveness on turf, however, when going down by just a neck in a very competitive Newbury handicap last month – a race which also confirmed himself as a strong staying prospect.

This race was immediately nominated as a potential target afterwards and considering the upwardly mobile profile he brings into the contest – and the fact that he is five-pound well-in off this handicap mark – another big run looks firmly in the offing.

The only real negatives at this stage about Almighwar revolve around price and draw. The current 5/1 best price (widely 4/1), makes little appeal in a handicap as strong as this, particularly as a poor draw would surely see his odds lengthen.

Chester Specialist Holds Strong Claims

A maximum field on 17 will be lining up here on Friday, and a brief scan at previous renewals suggest that a mark in the low-to-mid 90s will be needed to be guaranteed a run. With that in mind, Golden Rules, Postileo and Stepney Causeway – all horses that find themselves towards the top of the betting – look far from guaranteed to get a run.

Should those three be balloted out of this race, and Almighwar find himself drawn in the car park, there is real potential for a few at bigger prices to find themselves significantly shorter come Friday – the first of those being FUTURE INVESTMENT, who looks a shade too big at his current double-digit price.

This son of Mount Nelson remains fairly unexposed for a five-year-old, with this being just his twelfth career start. Future Investment brought his record here at Chester to 2-2 when landing a handicap here last August. He was a beaten favourite in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock on his penultimate outing, but that galloping track probably wasn’t ideal, and his last run in the ultra-competitive Cesarewitch was also far better than his finishing position of 11th suggests.

Returning to Chester is clearly a notable plus for Future Investment, and plenty of smart pieces of back form suggest that a current rating of 96 – which guarantees a run – is unlikely to prove beyond him.

Future Investment bumped into the now 103-rated Laafy (met off levels) on last season’s reappearance, a run which proves his effectiveness fresh, and it is not difficult to see the money coming for him should a favourable draw come his way.

Trumpet Can Play the Right Notes

Whilst Future Investment is a strong selection for Friday’s race, it does look worth going two-pronged into the attack with a saver suggested on the 16/1 TRUMPET MAN.

Kept busy as a three-year-old having had no fewer than ten runs after racing’s resumption, Trumpet Man racked up a quickfire hat-trick at the backend of the season – the last victory coming up by a dominant six-length margin.

Trumpet Man has been held in both of his starts since, but his latest run at Musselburgh in the Queen’s Cup was better than the bare result (6th), as Trumpet Man performed well coming from midfield in a race where the leaders didn’t come back to the chasing group.

That run also should have knocked any freshness out of him, and this sharp left-handed circuit also has the potential to strongly suit a horse that often lugs to his left in his races.

Much like Future Investment, Trumpet Man is guaranteed a run off his current rating (97) – and 16/1 odds just look a few points too big considering he may well represent the 2019 Chester Cup winning team of Mark Johnston and Franny Norton (aboard for all three of the gelding’s career wins).

There is also room for optimism when looking at Trumpet Man’s pedigree, with his half-brothers Clearly and Polarisation both winning pattern races as five-year-olds – suggesting that Trumpet Man can improve with age.

Both runners make an ante-post appeal at their respective prices.