Trainer Michael Jarvis has a couple of reservations about the lightly-raced four-year-old, who has not run since a failed attempt at hurdling in October for Jonjo O’Neill.
“He doesn’t seem to mind the ground and he actually goes on very fast ground,” said the Newmarket handler.
“He’ll get the trip, he’s a nice, fresh horse and we’re hoping he acts round there.
“The two things against him are that he hasn’t had a run this term and he is a big horse. He’s quite handy but you never know until you run them round there.”
He is also poorly drawn in stall 16 in a maximum 17-runner field while, in contrast, last year’s beaten market leader Double Banded has been handed a plum draw in stall two.
Fourth 12 months ago when trained by John Dunlop, he is now with Ian Williams who won the 2008 renewal with Bulwark.
“We purposely haven’t run him because we believe he is probably best when he’s fresh,” said the Alvechurch trainer.
“He had a racecourse gallop about a week ago which we were delighted with and any rain they have at Chester would be to his advantage.
“We bought him at the sales specifically with this race in mind. While it would be very difficult to be confident, we are hopeful and you have to be happy with his draw.”
Dunlop is represented by Downhiller this time and connections of the recent Ripon winner are praying the rain stays away.
“Downhiller came out of his Ripon race in very good order, but any significant rain would not be in his favour,” said trainer John Dunlop’s racing secretary, Marcus Hosgood.
David Arbuthnot also believes his runner Desert Sea has solid claims, as long as conditions do not deteriorate.
“He’s had a trouble-free preparation and he looks fine,” said the Compton trainer. “He’s obviously running off a career-high mark, but he’s certainly going the right way – it’s a very competitive race though.”
Chester Cup - Cashmans bet - 5 Daraahem, 13/2 Downhiller, 7 Amerigo, 11 Tilt, 12 Halla San, Ajaan, Hindu Kush, Som Tala, 14 Formax, Desert Sea, Double Banded, 16 Warsaw Pact, Gala Evening