Channon team hoping stall 11 won't be dead end street for Kinks
Stellar Group Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes | 5f | 2yo | ITV4/RUK
Mick Channon has made a flying start with his juvenile team but if the trainer's speedy Kinks is to take his own winning haul to three in Chester's opening race of 2018 the son of Sixties Icon will need to fly from the stalls like he has never flown before, or adopt a more patient approach than seen so far.
That is because although Kinks brings the best established form to the Stellar Group Lily Agnes Stakes, he also has the worst possible draw, having been berthed widest of all in stall 11.
With the final field likely to be reduced to no bigger than nine, Kinks may be slightly less deep on the track than would otherwise be the case. Even so, the all-the-way Bath and Ripon winner still faces a difficult task for a yard that has enjoyed nine two-year-old wins in recent weeks.
The trainer's son and assistant, Jack Channon, said: "His form is in the book and we do hold him in high regard, but it's going to be tricky from stall 11.
"He has a lot of early boot but can take a lead, so from his draw he could be ridden from off the pace."
There is a recent precedent for a Lily Agnes winner making all from the outside gate, Mukhmal having achieved that feat in 2014. Mark Johnston, the winning trainer on that occasion, saddles Oasis Dream filly No Lippy who will attempt to build on her Doncaster debut success from stall four.
Two other recent Lily Agnes-winning trainers are also represented, including last season's victor David Evans, who runs two. The Monmouthshire trainer heads to Chester with Lihou (stall five) who beat then newcomer Kinks by a head when the pair met at Kempton in April, and Lady Prancealot (stall eight).
"They go very quick and neither of ours are real speed merchants," said Evans. "We won the Lily Agnes last year but I think it was an easier race."
"Lihou won well at Kempton and isn't drawn too badly, but of my two Lady Prancealot is probably the more likely Chester type, although not from her draw as it will be hard from stall eight."
Tom Dascombe, whose latest Lily Agnes success came in 2013, declared four horses but could end up just with two runners after announcing Light My Fire as a non-participant due to lameness, while Five Amarones is a big doubt.
He said on Tuesday: "Dark Thunder [stall six] ran perfectly fine first time out and is sure to have come on for the experience.
"Jensue is well drawn in stall two and ran fine at Beverley first time out. She's also sure to come on, but needs to hold her position in the first 100 yards."
Dascombe added: "Five Amarones probably won't run. We thought he'd win at Bath on Monday but he got beat.
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