Moore at full Tilt for Chester Cup

Trainer Brian Ellison's top challenger can improve on last year's third place

There are some words that appear only rarely in the sports pages of newspapers. Truckle, for instance, which today gets its annual outing. The occasion is the first of three days' entrancing sport at Chester, where giant cheeses, the local county speciality, form part of the prizes.

No course in Britain can trace its ancestry further back than Chester, for it was in 1511, two years into the reign of Henry VIII, that a fair on the Roodeye – the "island with a cross"0 in a loop of the River Dee, hard by the city walls – was first enlivened by a horserace, with the reward to the winner of a painted ball.

By 1609, the ball had become a silver bell; the subjects of James I were presumably more demanding. In 1785, the Mayor and Corporation of Chester put up an £8 silver trophy to be run for "five times round", the embryo of the Chester Cup. In this afternoon's running, the 176th since the contest settled at more or less two and a quarter miles, the runners will pass the winning post only thrice but the reward is rather more, £74,772. Plus that truckle, of course.

And 50lb of crumbly Cheshire takes some shifting. Michael Jarvis has had to deal with it twice; after Anak Pekan completed a double four years ago, the beneficiaries were the residents of an old folks' home in Newmarket. Jarvis saddles one of the favourites this afternoon, the progressive four-year-old Amerigo, but this year it may be Yorkshire pensioners who will be feasting on Welsh rarebit, macaroni, and little nibbly bits with pineapple.

Chester is the country's tightest track, only a mile and 60 yards round. Experience round such a carousel can be invaluable and Tilt (2.45) is one who has been there, and almost done that, having finished a slightly unlucky third in a tight finish to last year's Cup.

The seven-year-old, one of three challengers from Brian Ellison's yard near Malton, ticks plenty of boxes in his bid to go two better 12 months on in the Totesport-sponsored marathon. He blew the cobwebs away on his seasonal debut at Epsom last month without his usual cheekpieces, he is favourably drawn near the infield rail, and has the services of the champion jockey, Ryan Moore.

The perception that a low-numbered starting berth is preferable at Chester is borne out by statistics, but only just. Eleven of the last 20 Cup winners have emerged from single-figure stalls, as did 22 of the 40 placed horses. As a point of anorak interest, the best recent draws have been six (three winners and three seconds in 20 runnings) and 11 (four thirds and a winner in five runnings) occupied today, respectively, by Desert Sea and Downhiller.

Three of the seven runners in today's Cheshire Oaks hold an entry for the real thing next month, Perfect Truth, Phillipina and Simple Solution. With the notable exception of Light Shift, who completed the double two years ago, winners of the Listed contest have not impacted hugely on events at Epsom and Roses For The Lady (2.15), who will not be inconvenienced by any easing of the ground, can continue both that trend and her trainer John Oxx's superb run of form.

After her stablemate Sea The Stars' smashing 2,000 Guineas victory on Saturday, it is going to take some performance in the next round of trials to rattle the top of the Derby market.

The first opportunity comes in tomorrow's Chester Vase, in which eight colts line up, including Debussy, supplemented to Epsom, and the Ballydoyle pair Golden Sword and Masterofthehorse.

Away from the brilliant, but necessarily brief, glitter of the Classic scene came news yesterday of the retirement of one of jump racing's most durable and honourable competitors. Brave Inca has hung up his racing plates after a seven-year career that brought 10 Grade 1 victories including the 2006 Champion Hurdle and earnings of more than £970,000.

The 11-year-old, also placed twice in the Cheltenham showpiece, finished down the field in this year's edition, and was last of nine at Punchestown last week.

"We always said we'd call it a day once he wasn't up to competing with the best," said trainer Colm Murphy, "but it was great to have him around for so long."

Chris McGrath

Nap: Sohraab (3.15 Chester)

NB: Downhiller (2.45 Chester)

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map