We managed to nab the Chester Cup with Falcon Eight last year and we hope to do it again in this year’s great-looking £150,000 renewal.
As always there are plenty of runners in with chances and the usual inner draw bias at Chester just doesn’t help us too much in this 2-mile, 2½ furlong contest.
All bar a few in the field have some sort of chance on the book, but these six are the horses we like best:
Although not seen for 187 days, this is not a horse to be ignored.
Trained in Ireland by John Queally, Arcadian Sunrise managed to beat Rajinsky at York last summer and both horses could also go well in this race.
He’s gone up 7lbs in the handicap since last August’s win, but that’s not a scary amount by any means and we know he’ll stay no problem.
Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore have had a fantastic week at Chester, especially the jockey, and it could be that they have found a bit of a handicap blot in this Cleveland.
We’re more used to seeing these Coolmore horses in Pattern races of course and that’s what they had in mind for this son of Camelot when he won his maiden at the third attempt as a juvenile back in 2020.
After a problem he was not seen again until 40 days ago, Cleveland running just OK when 5th of seven in a Listed race at Naas.
Should that have put him spot-on, he looks capable of running to a mark of around 105 which means he could be well in off 97, though this is a tough race.
Andrew Balding’s horse has been running on the all-weather since last November, but he appears to take any surface in his stride.
Although beaten on all four starts since then, his overall form has held up well meaning his being dropped 2lbs in the handicap could be very interesting.
His Melrose win back in 2020 marked him out as a type for exactly this sort of race and it would be no surprise to see him go well under Rob Hornby.
Last year’s winner for Dermot Weld and Frankie Dettori is only 5lbs higher in the handicap now, while since that success he has also won well over hurdles.
They seem like pretty simple signs that he is set to go well once more, but it could be that the combination of that 5lb hike and others around him sneaking up on the handicaper make this look a more formidable task than twelve months ago.
Hugo Palmer has quickly got the hang of things at Chester and is bound to train tons of winners there over the coming years.
His Rajinksy has form with the well fancied Arcadian Sunrise, he won at Ascot last year, he’s a last-time-out winner, he’s drawn on the inner and very fine 7lb claimer Harry Davies has been booked to ride.
All of that has been taken into consideration and he does clearly have a good chance, but nothing trumps the handicap mark and off 99 he’s not that well treated considering he has been consistent, but hasn’t improved in lumps.
A better chance for Hugo Palmer could come with recent Epsom third Solent Getaway.
The four-year-old is an obvious improver and he’s one that for Tom Dascombe kept his best performances for this track over shorter distances.
Over a mile-and-a-quarter to a mile-and-a-half, Solent Getaway was third to Alfaadhel and twice runner-up at Chester, while he won when he was sent up to two miles here for the first time as well.
His good third at Epsom could be considered merely a prep run and we should see him at his very best when it really counts, which is right now.
Falcon Eight will be popular as will Rajinsky and Coltrane, but they may just have a few too good for them.
Arcadian Sunrise cannot be discounted, while Cleveland could either find this too much and bomb out, or prove to be ridiculously well handicapped for this week’s all-conquering team.
The safest choice is definitely SOLENT GETAWAY. Trained locally, he’s on the way up, has won over two miles around Chester and has been prepped to peak specifically in this event which he is bound to do.