Just the four runners go to post for this handicap at Chelmsford racecourse but that doesn’t detract from it’s competitiveness. There is £5,745 up for grabs in this 0-75 over seven furlongs. Read on for our expert analysis, runner by runner guide and free tip.
IN SUMMARY: Three course winners are in the field of four but it is LORD CLENAGHCASTLE (8/1) who appeals the most at the prices. The Gary Moore trained horse travelled supremely well for a long way at Kempton over a mile last time out and couldn’t sustain his effort so he will really appreciate the step back to 7f, a trip where he was successful over in the past. The most likely danger should be Alkashaaf dropping down in grade with low miles on the clock whilst Sans Souci Bay should be able to reverse the form with Tailor’s Row at the weights.
1 SANS SOUCI BAY – Richard Hannon trained three year old by Medicean who was victorious over course and distance off a mark of 71 back in October under 5lb claimer Megan Nicholls. That twelve runner field was certainly more competitive than this race and he should find it a bit easier even if he is running off a six pound higher mark. Tina Smith takes the ride and she takes 7lbs off but she only has one career win to her name to date so she might struggle against more experienced jockeys like David Probert, Hector Crouch and PJ McDonald. He is still respected as it would be folly to dismiss a horse with a 100% record at the racecourse. He was only a length behind Tailor’s Row in a Nursery Handicap at Lingfield last time out and the combination of the 1lb swing in the weights minus the seven pound claim should see him reverse the form with the Mark Johnston horse.
2 ALKASHAAF – Archie Watson trained gelding who caught the eye on handicap bow at Newcastle last time out, going down by just a length in third place. He only has four runs under the belt thus far so is open to plenty more improvement and David Probert is booked to ride, possibly the best jockey in the race. His sole success came here over 6f at Chelmsford last month and it was a very taking performance. He missed the break completely losing a few lengths but somehow got up on the line to win, trading as high as 249/1 in-running on the Betfair exchanges. This would suggest that he has plenty of stamina so the 7f should be perfect. The only thing that might cost him here is the very small field. Races like this tend to become very tactical and can be run at a snails’ pace and if it is, it will turn into a sprint finish. Nonetheless, he looks the deserved favourite and could take a bit of beating dropping down in grade.
3 TAILOR’S ROW – Anytime Mark Johnston has a runner in the race there is likely to be plenty of pace from the front and there’s no doubt this horse will try to make all and get his three rivals off the bridle turning for home. He very nearly succeeded in making all at Lingfield last time out, going down by 0.75 lengths to Reign On for a finish. The handicapper has left him off the same mark for this so he has an obvious chance but Sans Souci Bay who was back in 4th was only a length behind. That runner has an 8lb pull in the weights for a length beating if you take Tina Smith’s claim into account so he will do well to stay in front of that runner. He is another runner to taste success at Chelmsford though and it came here on debut over 6f. Likely to give a good account but might just find one too good again.
4 LORD CLENAGHCASTLE – In a four runner field with not much between the runners, the 8/1 on offer for this Gary Moore runner is a bit of an insult and is certainly worth a few quid of anyone’s money. The lightly raced colt is in receipt of 6lb’s from the field and although his 11th place finish at Kempton last time out was a poor run, it was a better run than what it may look like on the form book. It was over a mile and up to the 7f mark he was absolutely tanking, he simply didn’t see out the final furlong. Now dropped back down to 7f he will be a big danger to all and Gary Moore is more than capable of landing a punt so any market moves could be significant. He has won two of his four starts to date which were at Brighton (5.3f) and Kempton (7f) and if you can forgive his latest run, his price is scandalous.