Latest news as rain causes Magic Circle to skip Chester Cup for Ormonde cracker
Ian Williams reduced his Chester Cup hand by one when announcing on Thursday morning last year's winner Magic Circle is to run in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes today.
The continuing rain and easing in the ground at Chester was pivotal in the decision.
Williams said: "It is definitely a weather-related decision. The ground has eased considerably and if it had not he would have been running in the Chester Cup.
"The Ormonde trip is shorter than ideal for him but with the rain continuing to fall that will help. He had a big weight in the Cup - he was 18lb higher than last year."
The seven-year-old was on Wednesday declared for a repeat bid in Friday's feature but will instead be in action on day two.
The going was changed to good to soft, soft in places (from good to soft) after midday and St Leger winner Kew Gardens appears the main danger to Magic Circle in the Ormonde (3.35).
Clerk of the course Andrew Morris said on Thursday morning: "We were pleased with conditions yesterday and the ground took the 5mm of rain really well during the day.
"It's started to rain again this morning and we're probably heading towards soft ground at some point if it continues."
The Listed Dee Stakes (2.25) could unearth Derby clues, with the likes of Circus Maximus, Fox Chairman and Mohawk set to clash.
Besides the action at Chester, Huntingdon and Worcester host seven-race jumps cards before the evening action from Tipperary, Wincanton and Chelmsford.
Huntingdon (first race 1.40)
Good (GoingStick: 5.3 chase, 5.2 hurdle at 6am)
Good to soft, soft in places (from good to soft, GoingStick: 7.2 at 9am)
Good to soft (from good, good to soft in places; GoingStick 5.9 at 9.30am)
Good, good to yielding in places on hurdle course
Good to firm
1.50 Chester – Copper Knight 6-4 (from 7-2)
3.00 Chester – Lincoln Park 5-1 (from 8)
5.05 Chester – Al Jellaby 11-2 (from 10)
5.20 Worcester – Lord Washington 5 (from 8)
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In a match of intriguing three-year-olds, Circus Maximus looks to have the most interesting profile in the Dee Stakes. The Flaxman Stables-owned colt brings solid juvenile form with Magna Grecia and Persian King into the Listed contest.
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