The Chester Stakes is one of the big handicaps taking place this Saturday, the 2nd September. The race takes place in Chester, is the second race on their card and is scheduled to take place at 2:10pm UK time. Those in the UK will be able to watch the race live on their TV on the channel ITV4 as part of their racing coverage.
The race is over the long distance trip of 1m 5f and it has been used as a stepping stone in the past for horses who are targeting the very valuable Chester Cup next season, which takes place in May. The race is a listed handicap meaning it attracts some of the top handicappers out there and horses rated up to 110 are allowed to enter. We have a quality field for the race, and with 12 runners it is set to be a very competitive renewal and one which should be great to watch.
The horse I like best in this race is My Reward, a five year old trained by Tim Easterby who ran a cracking race at York just over a week ago. He has ran very well in every race this season, apart from his first race when he needed the run. He has one win under his belt, winning a good handicap at Ripon and last week he produced his best run since that at the York Ebor Festival. He came second in that race just one length behind Magic Circle, a very well handicapped horse who since went on to come 5th in the Ebor just days later to frank the form.
Elsewhere My Reward has always been close to picking up another win, finishing 5th at Newcastle and 4th at Goodwood in two top handicaps, again that is form that would give him a great chance here. He was beaten by just one length at Goodwood and under two lengths at Newcastle, he strikes me as a horse that is about to win again, hopefully it is in the Chester Stakes.
Ladbrokes, William Hill and Betfred are all currently offering 6/1 on My Reward to win the race and I feel that is a great price based on what he has done this season. He has won a race, ran very well in defeat in other races and showed his best just one week ago so he clearly is in form. I am excited to see My Reward run in this race, I believe he can win it and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him back at the course for a shot at the Chester Cup next May, the biggest handicap held at the course.
Elsewhere, the youngster Cape Coast right at the bottom of the handicap has to be respected after winning two of his last three runs. Those were a Pontefract maiden and a Ripon handicap, in a lower grade than this but he did show his quality to come second in a good Ascot handicap in July. He ran five times in six weeks in June and July, so the small break will have done him good and he looks to be the main danger behind My Reward and he is another who I could see heading back here to contest the Chester Cup next May.
The final horse worth mentioning is Graceland who has been running very consistently this season. She won on her seasonal debut at Ascot and has since been inside the first four on all four starts since that win. That includes two seconds and she looks the sort of horse who is certain to be involved in the finish. She has the consistency to go close, but I have my doubts as to whether or not she has the ability to win this race, you should get a run for your money if you side with her though.
I am looking forward to see the Chester Stakes on Saturday and in particular My Reward. I think he has the potential to keep improving and move up in class should he win this race. The price on offer at the moment is very fair, and I am happy to take the 6/1 on him winning the Chester Stakes. He knows how to win and showed his best form just over a week ago, so we know he heads here in good recent form. I am backing My Reward to win the Chester Stakes at 6/1 which is available with Ladbrokes, William Hill and Betfred.