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Chris Dixon’s Sunday service: Jumbo can take off at Chester

Chris Dixon’s Sunday service: Jumbo can take off at Chester
05 Aug
6:56

One of the criticisms of Sunday racing in the UK is that it often lacks a bit of quality and the regular lack of not only classy, but also competitive action is often apparent.

It is especially disappointing when you see the good crowds that Sunday racing often attracts to courses but there are exceptions to the low-quality Sunday cards in this country, as was the case last week at Pontefract and Chester host a Listed contest as their feature event on the card this time around.

You can also watch the ultra-competitive Prix Maurice De Gheest on Racing UK, where Diamond Jubilee runner-up City Light clashes with the likes of British raiders Brando, The Tin Man and Sands Of Mali.

All four of today’s selections come from the Roodee, however, with the strongest fancy coming in that Listed event at 3.00.

1.50 Chester – Quiet Endeavour at a generally available 13-8:

There’s a chance that Quiet Endeavour’s improvement to win his last two starts has been surface-related as that pair of wins have been achieved when switched to the all-weather at Chelmsford, but if he can replicate that form then he has an excellent chance.

Clearly fully effective on a turning, left-handed track, he has got the inside draw to work from now that Staycation is out and the clock suggests he is on a fair mark for this switch to handicap company.

The form of main market rival Hafeet Alain has worked out well and he is progressing but I have my doubts as to whether he will be effective around here on his first start around a bend.

I’ll take Quiet Endeavour to give his excellent trainer Archie Watson another winner.

3.00 Chester – Major Jumbo at a generally available 2-1:

The combination of a low draw and early pace is often a potent one at Chester and with that in mind I think Major Jumbo could prove difficult to peg back from stall one.

A winner on his reappearance at Newmarket in April, Kevin Ryan’s charge has since hit the frame in a sequence of the most competitive sprint handicaps around and that level of form will put him right in the mix.

His front-running tactics are not that easy to pull off in the big-field handicaps he has been contesting, with pressure on the pace often fierce, and for all that most of his form is on straight tracks, I think Chester in a smaller field could bring out the best in this pacey strong traveller and a shade of improvement may be on the cards.

3.30 Chester – Jabbaar each-way at 9-1 with BetBright, Betway and William Hill:

The front of the market is dominated by the three-year-olds Berkshire Royal and Gossip Column, who were second and fourth respectively behind yesterday’s impressive Gordon Stakes winner Cross Counter at Ascot last time.

Both have an obvious chance but I do not know if Berkshire Royal is well enough handicapped to be taking 5-4 about and Gossip Column, who raced freely in front at Ascot, may not be a strong stayer at the trip and faces competition for the lead.

If a contested pace does materialise it would suit the consistent Jabbaar, whose tendency to blow the start means he is reliant on a good gallop and some luck but does run his race more often than not.

Competitive off his current mark, his form figures at this track read 333313 and he looks the one to back each-way.

4.40 Chester – Fastar each-way at 13-2 with BetBright:

On initial inspection of this race I was a bit worried about stall 10 for Fastar but three absentees early on Sunday morning means that is less of a concern so I am siding with Brian Meehan’s charge each-way.

Below form at Chelmsford last time, he is not the first horse to be ridden from off the pace and not travel with their usual fluency at that track of late and I would be inclined to forgive him that below-par run and focus on his previous efforts.

Generally progressive over the past 12 months, he was not beaten far on either of his first two outings this season and both races were stronger looking heats than this one.

With the vast majority of this field looking averagely handicapped, he still has the scope to win off his current mark and though I would ideally prefer to be backing him with some cut in the ground, he will not find good ground a hinderance (he won on good ground last autumn at Sandown) and the anticipated strong pace should suit this horse who often travels well through his races.

Chris Dixon’s Sunday best bets:

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