Flame 5/1 favourite for Chester Cup

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John Quinn’s Countrywide Flame is the 5/1 favourite with the sponsors after being handed stall four for Wednesday’s StanJames.com Chester Cup.

The firm’s Rory Jiwani said, “It may be a stayers’ race but Chester’s tight bends mean a low draw is preferable and Countrywide Flame’s chances can only be enhanced by him getting stall four. He ran a blinder to finish third in the StanJames Champion Hurdle and he looks well in based on his 92 flat rating compared to his 168 mark over hurdles.

“John Quinn’s 2012 Triumph Hurdle winner has been at the head of the market since the entries came out and he’s now the 5/1 favourite with Aidan O’Brien’s Justification next best at 6/1 after he was drawn in stall three. The early money we’ve seen has been for the top two in the market.

“Simenon shares top weight but Willie Mullins’ dual Royal Ascot hero has got stall 14 which is far from ideal. He’s the 9/1 joint-third favourite along with David Simcock’s Montaser who leads owner Dr Marwan Koukash’s four-pronged assault on the race. Koukash could have five if Kiama Bay sneaks in as one of two reserves.

“Donald McCain’s reigning champion Ile De Re is poorly drawn in 16 and he’s 10/1 to retain his crown. Jonjo O’Neill’s former Northumberland Plate winner Tominator and Dermot Weld’s Olympiad are also 10/1.

“While some rain is forecast, we hope there won’t be a repetition of last year when a monsoon-like downpour meant we had to have a flip start, rendering the draw null and void. We’re very much looking forward to sponsoring the Chester Cup for the second time on day one of Chester’s superb May Festival.”

StanJames.com Chester Cup NRNB (EW 1/4 1,2,3,4): 5 Countrywide Flame 6 Justification 9 Montaser, Simenon 10 Olympiad, Ile De Re, Tominator 16 Thimaar, Investissement, Address Unknown, Buckland 20 Suraj 25 bar

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