1pt each-way Forza Orta @11/1, 0.5pts each-way Too Friendly @20/1, 15:40 Chester, Friday

2m2½f Duke Of Westminster Supporting The Chester Cup (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (4yo+)

It’s one of the oldest handicaps in Britan and one suited to a certain type of staying specialist. There are a small number of potentially progressive types in here but they have all largely been very well found in the market, however the favourite hasn’t won this race for over 10 years and it looks massively wide-open to me.

Aztec Empire sits at the top of the market and has threatened to land a big handicap on more than one occasion, but he is yet to run this season and at more than double his price I want to be on FORZA ORTA, who beat Aztec Empire in a similar event at York last season by a neck. Forza Orta is just 1lb worse off at the weights with the favourite, but that was his first attempt over two-miles and he absolutely relished the trip on quick ground.

Forza Orta has huge potential to improve at this extended distance given he’s massively unexposed over it and stays really well, crucially he has already had a run this season to blow away the cobwebs when an encouraging 7/14 at Thirsk last month on unsuitable ground. He makes huge appeal at double-figure odds for Kevin Ryan.

You could take your pick at nearly anything else in this race, but at a massive price, I am going to take a chance on TOO FRIENDLY here for James Owen. Better known for his runs over hurdles, I think there is a fair chance that Too Friendly remains ahead of the handicapper on the flat. He is currently rated around the 140 mark over hurdles, but is only rated 89 on the flat.

Too Friendly claimed a prize over two miles at Kempton on his last flat start – his first since July 2021 – and did so with relative ease. Too Friendly has only been given a rise of 4lbs in the weights which seems very fair and off a fast pace, he could get a great toe into this race in stall 8. He will love the ground, should like the track and 20/1 is an attractive price for a horse that will have a lot in his favour here.

1pt each-way Forza Orta @11/1, 15:40 Chester, Friday (1-6 places, 1/5 odds)
0.5pts each-way Too Friendly @20/1, 15:40 Chester, Friday (1-6 places, 1/5 odds)

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