The Chester Cup, run at Chester Racecourse over 2m2f, is the feature race of their three-day May Meeting (8th-10th) – Here at JUICESTORM we take a look back at recent winners and highlights some key betting trends and stats ahead of the 2019 renewal – this year the race will be run on Friday 10th May 2019.
Did you know since 1975 we’ve only had 4 winning Chester Cup favourites win the race?
Recent Chester Cup Winners
2018 – Magic Circle (8/1)
2017 – Montaly (16/1)
2016 – No Heretic (11/1)
2015 – Trip To Paris (10/1)
2014 – Suegioo (10/1)
2013 – Address Unknown (12/1)
2012 – Il De Re (10/1)
2011 – Overturn (11/2)
2010 – Mamlook (7/1 fav)
2009 – Daraahem (7/1)
2008 – Bulwark (33/1)
2007 – Greenwich Meantime (14/1)
2006 – Admiral (28/1)
2005 – Anak Pekan (16/1)
2004 – Anak Pekan (2/1 fav)
2003 – Hugs Dancer (9/1)
2002 – Fantasy Hill (8/1)
Chester Cup Betting Trends
16/17 – Aged 7 years-old or younger
15/17 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or less
13/17 – Officially rated between 93-99
13/17 – Aged 5, 6 or 7 years-olds
12/17 – Finished unplaced last time out
12/17 – Won from stall 7 or lower
11/17 – Carried 9-2 or less
11/17 – Had raced within the last 2 months
11/17 – Returned 10/1 or shorter in the betting
11/17 – Had won previously over at least 2m on the flat
9/17 – Favourites were unplaced
8/17 – Irish bred
4/17 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
4/17 – Won by owner Dr Marwan Koukash
3/17 – Had won at the track before
3/17 – Ran at Aintree over hurdles last time out
2/17 – Trained by Donald McCain
2/17 – Trained by Richard Fahey
2/17 – Trained by Ian Williams
2/17 – Won by the favourite
2/17 – Won their previous race
The average winning SP in the last 17 years is 12/1
Key Chester Cup Stats
The race has seen repeat winners three times since 1997
Since 1975 we’ve only seen 4 winning favourites
The Hills yard took the race in 1980, 1999, 2001 and 2009
Since 1975 all winners have been aged 8 or younger
Since 1975 there have only been three winners aged 8 years-old
Since 1981 only 7 winners have carried more than 9-2 to victory
4 of the last 9 winners came from NH yards
3 of the last 7 winners returned 10/1
Dr Marwan Koukash has owned 4 of the last 11 winners
What do the stats say?
As we head into May the focus switches to the flat with the first two English Classics – the 1,000 & 2,000 Guineas – at Newmarket, but we’ve also got the three-day Chester May Meeting and their feature race – THE CHESTER CUP.
The Chester Cup, run over 2m2f, is the feature contest of a cracking festival (10th, 11th, 12th May) and it’s a race with plenty of trends history for us to use. It’s always a great spectacle with 20+ horses rattling around the tight Chester turns, while it’s a race the bookies have enjoyed in recent time with just four winning favourites since 1975.
Age – Other key trends to note are that 16 of the last 17 winners were aged 7 or younger – with only the 2016 winner, No Heretic going against that trend – while we’ve seen just three horses aged 8 (or older) take the race since 1975.
Recent form – Don’t be too worried if your fancy heads here off the back of a poor recent run as 12 of the last 17 winners were unplaced last time out, while in terms of weight the key stat it’s worth noting that 11 of the last 17 winners carried 9-2 or less.
Draw – Despite being run over 2m2f the draw plays a big part too – mainly due to Chester being one of the tightest of the flat tracks. Therefore, it’s no real surprise that horses drawn low have held sway – meaning they can save ground and get good early positions in the race – 12 of the last 17 winners came from stall 7 or less.
Weight – Being a handicap then weight carried is another thing to note. In recent years we’ve seen 11 of the last 17 winners (65%) win the race with 9-2 or less – so this have proven to be a decent cut-off mark. While since 1981 only 7 winners have won with more than 9-2 – but it is worth noting the 2017 winner – Montaly – carried 9-6 and the 2018 winner – Magic Circle – carried 9-3 so this weight trend might be turning.
Favourites – In short, the market leaders having a poor win record, do note that a fair few have placed though, with 8 of the last 17 favourites hitting the frame, which is usually the top 4 (if 16+ run). However, since 1975 we’ve seen just 4 market leaders actually win the race.
Top Owner – Look for anything owner Dr Marwan Koukash runs – he loves to win races at this meeting and in- particular this race. He’s sure to be mobbed-handed in the contest, but don’t be afraid to split stakes across all of his runners, especially those that fit some of the better key trends listed – he’s won the race 4 times in the last 10 years, including in 2018 with Magic Circle.
Top Trainers – The stables more famed for their National Hunt runners have done well too recently, with Donald McCain training two of the last 7 winners, while the current champion National Hunt trainer – Nicky Henderson – sent out the 2016 winner – No Heretic. While in terms of the flat yards to note anything the Hills team send to post should be respected, while the Andrew Balding camp took the prize 12 months ago with Montaly. Richard Fahey landed the prize in 2007 and 2013, while although Charlie Hills is yet to win the race his father – Barry – had a fine record in the contest – winning it 4 times.
JUICESTORM VERDICT: We could see the last two winners of the Chester Cup lining up again as the 2018 hero Magic Circle and 2017 winner Montaly hold entries. Both, of course, command respect but last year’s winner – Magic Circle – will be running off an 18lb higher mark. Connections are offsetting some of that with Cieren Fallon’s claim and this 7 year-old is a much better horse now too anyway. He also held an entry in Thursday’s Ormonde Stakes so we’ll have to see if he comes here or not. Fun Mac was runner-up last and must have a chance off a 8lb lower mark, while Who Dares Wins was third 12 months ago and gets in here off exactly the same rating. Time To Study is another that ran in the race last year (5th) and he’s now with Ian Williams that often do well in this race, plus he’s rated 8lbs lower this time. Draw 13 is not ideal, but his chance can’t be ignored. Willie Mullins sends over Low Sun and with Ryan Moore riding he’ll be popular, but draw 17 makes life hard, while they also have Whiskey Sour (stall 7), who can’t be discounted either. However, 5, 6 and 7 year-olds have done best over the years in this race, while 13 of the last 17 winners were rated between 93 and 99. With that in-mind two other Ian Williams runners in SPEEDO BOY (e/w) and SHABEEB (e/w) stand out. Speedo Boy is drawn 6 too so will have a good starting point and did well over hurdles this season. A recent spell in Dubai didn’t go to plan but he’s acted well in soft ground in the past and has been freshened up with 3 months off – he’s gone well fresh in the past. Shabeeb is yet another Koukash runner as he looks for his fifth win in this race. Formerly with Roger Varian this 6 year-old had some good handicap form over the middle distances for the last few seasons and if getting the longer distance looks very interesting. Paul Hangan has been booked to ride too and he gets in here with just 8-12 in weight. Of the rest, Busy Street and Watersmeet tick a lot of the main trends too and the last-named was also 9th in the race last year and gets in 3lbs lower. Of the others, the Mark Johnston-trained Austrian School looks set to go off as one of the fancied ones. He’s a consistent 4 year-old that is drawn well in 5 and should be bang-there being a course winner too. However, he’s certainly no value and has won just 1 of his last 10 races. CLEONTE is the other one to have on side though. He represents the Andrew Balding yard that won this race in 2017 and caught the eye when staying on last time out in a Group Three at Ascot. That came off a 200 day break too so will be better for it and was staying on well over that 2m trip to suggest the longer trip here will suit.
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