Past Winners » Clever Cookie


It is correct that Tac De Boistron is favourite for this. He is a classy horse, he will have his favoured soft ground, and he is one for one at Chester.

However, there are negatives. This one-mile-five-furlong trip may be a little sharper than ideal for him now as an eight-year-old, and this race is surely just a stepping stone into the season for him. It is unlikely that he will be fully primed. Also, he has to concede a 7lb penalty to all his rivals, and he is drawn eight of eight. He is short enough …

Clever Cookie could also have done better with the draw, but that is more than factored into odds of 9/1. He is seven years old now, but he is a really lightly-raced seven-year-old. He has raced just six times on the flat, and he has won three times, including a good handicap at York last May on easy ground, and a dead-heat in a listed race back at York later that month.

Peter Niven’s horse proved that he could operate away from York as well when he finished a close-up fourth in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup in September, just two lengths behind top-class stayer Estimate. He came from a long way back that day, he was trying to make ground into a quickening pace and he didn’t have a lot of room inside the final furlong. He finished his race like a horse who had plenty more left to give.

His fitness has to be taken on trust today, but he won a bumper on his racecourse debut in 2012, and he won another bumper on his debut in 2013. He does stay further than this, but the races that he won at York were run over 10 furlongs and a mile and six furlongs respectively. He does not lack pace.

His come-from-behind style of racing may not be ideal for Chester, but Graham Lee is a clever jockey who rides Chester well, so you can be sure that he will have him close enough, depending on what pace they go.