Cannock Chase can build on a promising return with victory in the Betfair Huxley Stakes at Chester.
Connections have high hopes for the four-year-old this term, with Group One entries in the likes of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the Eclipse demonstrating the kind of level Sir Michael Stoute’s charge is expected to reach.
Their confidence in the Lemon Drop Kid colt looked well placed after a three-year-old campaign that saw Cannock Chase progress from a maiden win at Windsor, to handicap success at Newbury before graduating to Group Three standard when victorious in the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
However, a string of minor issues saw Cannock Chase sidelined for the rest of the campaign as Stoute took the patient approach and allowed his charge plenty of recovery time.
Cannock Chase appeared in need of the outing on his return at Sandown last month, finding himself in a less than ideal position before trying to pick up which proved too big an ask against Western Hymn and Postponed.
He was hardly disgraced in being beaten three lengths and should strip much fitter here, although the ground may not be totally ideal.
Aidan O’Brien likes to bring his Classic hopefuls to Chester so it may be telling he fields only Hans Holbein from a clutch of entries in the MBNA Chester Vase.
A half-brother to quality stayer Sans Frontieres, Hans Holbein took three attempts to get his head in front but has clashed with some good rivals in th eprocess.
He was a touch disappointing when sent off an odds-on favourite on his return at Cork last month, being comprehensively beaten by Summaya.
That filly has since gone on to show up well in a hot Listed event, while Hans Holbein made all of the running for a Leopardstown maiden success.
Hans Holbein certainly has something to find with some of his rivals but appears to be still improving and is worth a chance.
Carlisle: 5.40 Separate Shadows, 6.10 Oscatara, 6.40 Montdragon, 7.10 Lord Brendy, 7.40 Hartside, 8.10 Highpower, 8.40 Card Game.
Chester: 2.10 Collaboration, 2.40 CANNOCK CHASE (NAP), 3.10 Hans Holbein, 3.45 Goring, 4.20 Young John, 4.55 Northgate Lad, 5.25 Aldeburgh.
Newton Abbot: 2.00 Thady Quil, 2.30 Faith Jicaro, 3.00 Low Key, 3.35 Alder Mairi, 4.10 Heading To First, 4.45 Lifetime, 5.15 Fourstar River.
Wincanton: 5.50 Bennachie, 6.20 Kiteney Wood, 6.50 Best Boy Barney, 7.20 All But Grey, 7.50 Sternrubin, 8.20 Henri De Boistron.
Worcester: 1.50 Thats Yer Man, 2.20 Greenlaw, 2.50 Lord Lir, 3.25 Vif Argent, 4.00 Notnowsam, 4.35 Rebekah Rabbit, 5.05 Amuse Me.
Double: Cannock Chase and Hans Holbein.