5th August 2012
Chester Betting: Balding's Night Carnation to get back to winning ways at Chester
3.05 Chester: M&S Bank Queensferry Stakes (Listed) (6f18y)
A good card on Sunday at Chester is highlighted by the Queensferry Stakes over 6f. We have 10 runners after the withdrawal of Masamah and the top rated horse in the race is Hitchens who has a BHA mark of 112. Trained by David Barrons and ridden by Silvestre De Sousa the 7yo is a 7/2 chance with Paddy Power.
It’s a while since we saw Hitchens on home turf as he spent the spring out in Dubai where he had a very successful time of it winning a Group 3 race and finishing runner up in two other races. He has had on restart since and that was a fair effort in the Greenlands Stakes at The Curragh where he finished fourth to Tiddliwinks only beaten a length. I’m not sure what he will make of Chester with its tight turn and may find this happening a bit quick and doesn’t have a great draw in stall 7.
Mark Johnston’s horses are firing on all cylinders at the moment and he saddles Van Ellis, he’s won two of his last three starts including one here over 7f. He won the Skybet Dash at York last time under a fine ride from Kieren Fallon but his normal rider Joe Fanning is on board today. He’s out wide in stall 9 and will need a personal best to follow up here in this company. Dandy Nicholls is having a season to forget although his horses have been showing a little form lately and Inxile flies the flag for him here. He’s been running like much of the stable and is winless so far this season; he was last of four at Haydock last time and can’t be backed at present.
Tim Easterby runs Ponty Acclaim and this filly gets all the allowances being a 3yo, she won four times last season all over 5f and has only had one start at this trip. She couldn’t get a blow in when down the field in the King Stand at Royal Ascot and last time was a one paced 6th behind Hamish McGonnagal at York. A return to this trip around here should be ok and has a nice draw on the inside of the track and wouldn’t write her off yet. One with a chance in this grade is Night Carnation, been running in Group company since this time last year and mainly at the minimum trip but has won over 6f and was a good fourth to Deacon Blues in the Champion Sprint race over 6f last October. She has ran well without troubling the judges so far this term and a drop in class is probably what she needs and if the ground stays good she could be the one to beat.
A decent looking renewal of the Queensferry, one or two of the older sprinters are looking to find their form after contesting Group races but I think this is best left to the younger brigade. I like Night Carnation who has a good draw in stall 4 and has been bogged down lately on unsuitable ground and if it stays dry up in Cheshire she could handle this company. Van Ellis is obviously improving and is a course winner and with Mark Johnston seemingly unbeatable at the minute is respected but the classy filly Ponty Acclaim looks worth a saver at the prices.
2pts Night Carnation 9/2 Bet365
1pt Ponty Acclaim 6/1 Ladbrokes
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Author: Ray Singpost