Overturn leads Chester charge07/05/2012 - 13:04:42
Overturn has been handed stall eight as he bids to land back-to-back victories in the StanJames.com Chester Cup on the Roodee on Wednesday.
Donald McCain’s versatile performer had the advantage of starting from the inside in stall one 12 months ago and this time he has 11lb more to carry.
The eight-year-old was last seen finishing second in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
Overturn is joint top weight on 9st 10lb with Alan Bailey’s Barbican, who was fourth in the Sagaro Stakes at Kempton last Wednesday.
Overturn has headed the ante-post market, nonetheless, despite his hefty burden.
Second favourite has been Gulf Of Naples, but Mark Johnston’s charge has been done no favours with the draw, having been given the widest stall position of all, 19.
Others prominent in the betting have endured mixed fortunes in the draw for the extended two-and-a-quarter mile test round Chester’s tight circuit.
Cesarewitch winner Never Can Tell is in stall six, Mount Athos is in 12, Zuider Zee in 16 and Northumberland Plate victor Tominator in three.
The leading fancies have all been declared in the maximum 17-strong field with the exception of Apache, but his trainer Aidan O’Brien relies on Harrison’s Cave (drawn 15), who will be ridden by Ryan Moore.
However, one horse prominent in the ante-post market who has not quite made the cut is Roger Varian’s Shubaat.
The lightly-raced five-year-old is first reserve, and given stall three should he get the chance to run, while Kevin Ryan’s Activate is second reserve.
John Quinn believes his course winner Kiama Bay could make his presence felt if he stays the trip.
The six-year-old won three times and finished second three times during a productive season last year, but needs to bounce back after a disappointing return at Kempton.
“I would give him a chance,” said Quinn.
“He ran off the track at Kempton last time but until then he was in the process of running a good race.
“He held his form in good heritage handicaps all last season. He’s won at Chester before and was second in a Listed race there as well, so we know he likes the place.
“We don’t know if he’ll stay the trip, obviously, but there is only one way to find out.”
Never Can Tell has been promoted to favouritism at 9-2, from 6-1, with Coral following the final declaration stage with Overturn second best at 5-1.
Gulf Of Naples has been pushed out to 6-1 from 5-1 after being allocated his poor stalls position.
“Although the Chester Cup is run over two and a quarter miles, the draw is crucial at the Roodee. While Never Can Tell should be OK coming from stall six, Gulf Of Naples’ backers have been done no favours with the widest draw of all, and that is reflected in the revised betting,” said Coral spokesman David Stevens.
StanJames.com Chester Cup, Coral bet: 9-2 Never Can Tell, 5-1 Overturn, 6-1 Gulf Of Naples, 8-1 Mount Athos, 10-1 Tominator, 12-1 Harrison’s Cave, 14-1 Barbican, Zuider Zee, 20-1 bar.
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