|2pts win Overturn in 14.35 Chester at 7/1 (BetVictor, William Hill).||Class act who could still be well handicapped if translating jumps form to Flat.|
The StanJames.com Chester Cup is always quite a spectacle, it's a magnificent race, and it was won 12 months ago by the topweight this year OVERTURN.
What a grand horse this is and since his win in the Chester Cup last year he ran well in the Goodwood Cup later in the campaign and continued his progress over hurdles during the winter, culminating in his second in the Champion Hurdle.
He was taken out of Punchestown after that, presumably because of the really testing ground and that's the slight worry about him.
He carries 9-10 this year which could be a tough task in soft ground, but if he replicates his improvement over jumps to the Flat then he could still be quite well handicapped.
The ground is a worry but I think this horse is capable of great things. He's probably the best dual-purpose horse we have had since Sea Pigeon who won this race as well as an Ebor.
Overturn has some other big handicaps to his name too including a Northumberland Plate so they are of similar ilk, though dissimilar in style.
Sea Pigeon was a horse who was held up for a strong finishing burst, he didn't want to be in front too soon, where as Overturn wears his medals blazing in the sunshine, goes off in front and he can be very difficult to pass.
He has got some opposition who will be trying to force the pace with him including Cesarewitch winner Never Can Tell who has been trained for the race and likes to go off in front, while Shubaat, who sneaks in at the bottom after the withdrawal of Zuider Zee, will also race prominently from stall three.
There's a slight question mark about stamina for Roger Varian's charge but he's a lightly-raced five-year-old who is very much a danger.
Of the others Mystery Star and Mount Athos who were third and fourth in the race last year go again. Mystery Star, like last year, is drawn very wide and that's not ideal while Mount Athos looks held to me on last year's form.
Perhaps a bigger threat will come from Gulf Of Naples who doesn't look absoultely straight forward but is definitely on the up.
He hung quite badly when beaten at Kempton and wandered around a little bit when winning at Ripon, but he goes on soft ground, stays well and looks well handicapped.
I just don't know whether he can handle the turns and his wide draw won't help either.
In conclusion, there's big opposition to Overturn but I think he has the class to shoulder this burden so I'll stick with the top weight and last year's winner.