Race Time: 2.15pm Meeting: Chelmsford Day: Sunday 27th December 2015 Full Race Name: Toteexacta Pick The 1ST and 2nd Handicap Class Three
With a small field the draw looks to be of no real relevance today, and for a Class Three event the field is not as classy as we would have hoped. Meadway (4/1) is the only last time out winner in the field for trainer Bryan Smart having taken a similar event at Southwell but has won on quicker surfaces on the turf at York and Ripon as well but it has to be a concern that at the age of four and after twenty-three career starts he is yet to even try the polytracks and you have to wonder why exactly and this is just about enough to put us off his chances here.
At this time of year we imagine plenty of people will be backing Stocking (3/1) for Newmarket handler Roger Varian, and as he has winning form at Wolverhampton over this trip there is no reason why he cannot handle Chelmsford as well. Put up six pounds by the handicapper for winning there in early October, he has struggled in both races since at Lingfield in a Listed race, and then here in a Class Two handicap, and although put down a pound since his last run and dropped in class, he may still be in the grip of the handicapper for now.
While we are talking about appropriate bets for the time of year (?) maybe others will prefer It Must Be Faith (9/2) as the excellent Michael Appleby looks to get win number five out of the five year old, though win number two on the all-weather. The son of Mount Nelson hasn’t won since November last year, a run of twelve races, though he has placed in the first three six times, five of them in second place, which has seen his handicap mark go up to 87, and as he could not win off of lower ratings, we can’t see why he will start again now?
Normal Equilibrium (7/1) is our idea of the most likely winner and value call though we need to explain further when you look at his form figures! He has a one win from one run record here at Chelmsford for starters (over this trip), and off a handicap rating two pounds higher than he has been allocated today, which when added to the five pounds taken off by jockey Aaron Jones leaves him potentially very well handicapped back at a track he seems to like, and overpriced in the circumstances in our view.
Last of our famous five has to be multiple winner Waseem Faris (10/1) who has the excellent Oisin Murphy in the saddle which can only be a good thing even if the horse might be too high in the weights. Admirably consistent for a six year old, he was winning and placing until the handicapper put him up to 91 which seemed to stop him in his tracks, and although he has been dropped a pound since his last run he still seems a bit too high in the weights to us and may need to get back to the mid 80’s to get his head back in front.