Racing UK's Tom Stanley tries to crack a couple of the big handicaps at Chester.
A tricky card at Chester (again) but a couple of decent bets in the last so that's where we'll start. Both the Dascombe runners have gone well here before and Newera is the choice of Richard Kingscote. Tom Dascombe didn't have the best day yesterday but his stable jockey went close in the 5 furlong handicap and looks to have a super chance on this gelded son of Makfi who was slowly away before keeping on at Doncaster last time. He may just have needed that and hopefully will be smarter from the gates here with his usual cheekpieces on. He was squeezed out at the start on his last run at the track but still looks fairly treated and is well drawn. The Character is a course winner and I like they are putting the cheekpieces back on having left them off last time for his reappearance. He's well drawn to get handy but won't lead by the looks of it given other bits of pace on. I hope he doesn't either as those right to the fore may not see it out but he has been competitive over further so will have the stamina to get competitive if sitting off a decent pace. There should certainly be more to come from him off this mark this term.
Two Mark Johnston horses are of interest as other plays on the day. Fire Fighting needs to find a bit to win the Huxley stakes but, with Adam Kirby booked, it'll be interesting to see if they go forward with him, as was the case the last time with Kirby up top. He'll need that sort of ride at the trip but could be a big player if breaking smartly and ridden positively. It's a trappy race. I think Darshini looks every bit the most likely winner of the first and the market reflects that. Good old Sennockian Star has a habit of popping up in races like this though and is well treated on his best form. Ideally he'd be drawn lower but at least he looks unlikely to lead. He's at his best when sat off the pace - stable companion Master Of Finance should help with that - and he tends to need a run so Epsom should have helped last time. Better ground is another plus and I fancy he'll hit the frame at double figures.