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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Hills expects more Porth power from favourable draw

Porth Swtan (left) wins the Alex Scott Maiden Stakes at Newmarket last month
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3.00 Chester
Abbey Logistics Handicap | 7½f | 3yo | ITV4/RUK

No horse drawn higher than seven has won this contest in the past decade, with stall four housing the winner three times during that period, most recently with Carry On Deryck in 2015.

Stall four this time around goes to Porth Swtan, who will be many people's idea of the winner after his convincing comeback victory over Ambient at the Craven meeting.

Just like his father Barry, Charlie Hills likes nothing more than a winner on the Roodee and the son of Invincible Spirit was at the business end of affairs over this trip at Newmarket so should enjoy being prominent again here.

The runner-up at Newmarket was not beaten far into seventh in a better race at the weekend and Porth Swtan remains on the same mark of 83.

Hills said: "This has been the plan for Porth Swtan since he won at Newmarket's Craven meeting and he seems to have done well since.

"Stall four is all right for him and he's been round there before, which he seemed to like." 

Turner on ITV

Hayley Turner was behind the mic as presenter at the track for ITV on Wednesday but will be in front of the cameras as a rider when she partners Sha La La La Lee, who is one of two runners for local trainer Tom Dascombe.

The three-year-old handicap is just about the only race at the Chester May meeting that Dascombe has not won and both candidates must be in with a shout from stalls five and six respectively.

Dragons Tail: one of two runners for Tom Dascombe

Dascombe said: "Dragons Tail did very well over the winter and I was expecting a good show from him at the Craven meeting, but he was quite disappointing. Richard [Kingscote] said he felt he'd be better going back up in trip.

"I didn't think Sha La La La Lee's mark would be enough to get a run in this so we sent him to Redcar last week hoping to go up the ratings. I was sure he would win but he was only fourth. He's better than he showed there and I'm sure we can get him back on the winning track soon." 

Spot the footballer

As usual there will be plenty of footballers at Chester this week, but not that many wearing an owner's badge. Southampton striker Charlie Austin will be and Another Batt should give him something to shout about from stall two.

The George Scott-trained topweight ran a cracker on his comeback to be third to Anna Nerium in the Listed European Free Handicap at Newmarket last month, form that received a boost when the winner ran a decent seventh in the 1,000 Guineas on Sunday.

Scott said: "Another Batt wears his heart on his sleeve and with a good break and a clear run he should be thereabouts. It's a drop in grade for him as it's his first time in a handicap, although he does have topweight." 

What they say

Simon Crisford, trainer of Nobleman's Nest
He's come out of his run at Newbury in fine shape, where he was a bit gassy as it was his first run of the season. Hopefully the track will suit his style of running. 

Charlie Appleby, trainer of Being There
He's not been seen since floundering on heavy ground at Ascot last year but his homework has been good and we expect a nice return run. 

Being There (blue): has not been seen since last season but has been working well at home

Ed Dunlop, trainer of Tadleel
He's ready to start off but he's not got the best of draws [11] and will probably improve greatly for the run and the experience. 

Richard Fahey, trainer of Joe's Spirit
I thought the track, trip and ground would really suit him but enthusiasm is tempered with his draw in 13. He's in very good form heading there.

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This has been the plan for Porth Swtan since he won at Newmarket's Craven meeting and he seems to have done well since
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