The Chester Cup is a flat handicap horse race held in Great Britain. It was first run in 1824 and was first known as the Tradesmen’s Cup. Fifty years later, it was renamed as the Chester Trades’ Cup and was eventually known as the Chester Cup.

The race covers a distance of 2 miles, 2 furlongs and 147 yards and is held at the Chester Racecourse in Chester, England. Only horses aged four years old and older are allowed to compete in the race.

Last year, Magic Circle won the race while ridden by Fran Berry and trained by Ian Williams. Magic Circle is out to defy odds this year as only two horses in the last 17 years have come back to win the race for a second consecutive time.

Here are the odds to win the 2019 SportPesa Chester Cup. Odds taken from bet365 as of May 2, 2019:

Horse Odds
Austrian School +600
Cleonte +800
Low Sun +800
Shabeeb +1000
Who Dares Wins +1000
Elegiac +1200
Infrastructure +1200
Magic Circle +1200
Making Miracles +1200
Wicklow Brave +1200
Speedo Boy +1400
Watersmeet +1400
Whiskey Sour +1400
Cliffs of Dooneen +1600
Coeur De Lion +1600
Fun Mac +1600
Golden Spear +1600
Lucky Deal +1600
Max Dynamite +1600
Nessun Dorma +1600

“Trophy" Who Are The Favorites?

Austrian School is 4-year old bay colt from Ireland. He is owned by Dr. J Walker and trained by Mark Johnson. In 16 lifetime flat races, Austrian School has won 5 times, placed 2nd five times and third three times. In his last race, he won the Queens Cup Stakes last 4/20/19 at Mussleburgh.

Cleonte is a six-year old chestnut gelding also from Ireland. He is owned by King Power Racing Co Ltd and trained by Andrew Balding. Cleonte has won just one flat race in 11 starts with one second and one third place finish. In his last race, he finished 3rd in the Longines Sagaro Stakes.

Low Sun is a six year old bay gelding from the United States, owned by Mrs. S. Rici and trained by Willie P. Mullins. In three flat races started, he won twice. In his last race, Low Sun was victorious in the Cesarewitch Stakes in Dubai in October 2018.

Shabeeb is a U.S.-bred bay gelding who is 6 years old. Shabeeb is owned by Dr. Marwan Koukash who has won four out of the last nine Chester Cups. His trainer is Ian Williams who has trained two out of the last 17 winners of this race. He last raced in May 2018, winning the Edmondson Hall Solicitors & Sports Lawyers Handicap

Who Dares Wins is an Irish horse bred in the U.S. The seven-year old bay gelding is trained by Alan King and owned by HP Racing Who Dares Wins. He’s run 21 flat races and has five wins and seven third place finishes. He placed third in his last race which was the Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd Silver Bar Handicap last month.

“Trophy" Who Wins?

Since 1975, only four Chester Cup favorites have won the race. Since 1975, All winners of the race have been aged 8-years or younger with 13 out of the last 17 winners aged between five to seven years old. 13 out of the last 17 winners were also rated officially between 92-99 and 12 out of the last 17 winners were unplaced last time out and 11 out of 17 had raced in the previous two months.

11 out of the last 17 winners carried 9-2 or less and 11 out of the last 17 victors have won previously over at least 2m  on flat. Also, eight out of the last 17 winners were Irish-bred thoroughbreds. Four out of the last 17 winners ran at Newmarket last time out while 3 from the previous 17 champions have won at the track before.

Another important trend to note is that 12 out of the last 17 winners won from Stall 7 or lower. The draw has been a key factor in this race even if it is raced over 2m 2f because Chester has one of the tightest tracks around. So it isn’t a surprise why the horses drawn low can save ground and get good early position in the race.

2018 winner Magic Circle is among the current favorites at 1200. At 7 years of games, being Irish-bred, owned by Dr Marwan Koukash who’s won 4 out of the last 11 Chester Cups and trained by Ian Williams as well, he looks like he fits many of the criteria for the winner, But with only two repeat winners in the last 17 years, I don’t think Magic Circle would be a good bet.

When you take a look at the trends and apply them to the favorites, it’s hard to find a horse that fits most of the bill. I think one of the most striking trend is the age of the horse since 13/17 are aged between 5-7. Among the Top five favorites, Cleonte, Low Sun and Shabeeb fit the bill. With half of the last 17 winners Irish-bred horses, you have to like Cleonte here. Add the fact that he’s raced in the last two month as with 11 out of the 12 previous winners and he’s a good find.

With form another factor in making horse racing bets, Cleonte is  also coming off a third place finish at the Longines Sagaro Stakes and while that doesn’t fit with 12/17 winners who were unplaced in their last race, Cleonte has only placed thrice in 11 flat races with just one win.

Prediction: Cleonte

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