Race Time: 2.50pm Meeting: Chelmsford Day: Sunday 27th December 2015 Full Race Name: Totetrifecta Pick The 1,2,3 Handicap Class Four
The last Channel 4 all-weather race of the day sees another seven-runner field (not so good for each way players) and yet another tricky handicap. George Margarson trains likely favourite Elusive Guest (4/1) who comes here looking to land his hat trick after a couple of distance wins at Kempton in late November and mid December. Put up in the ratings from 74 to 80 for the first win, the son of Elusive City shrugged that off with a half-length win over favourite Firmament when holding off all challengers which has seen him go up another three pounds today. He does seem to like the all-weather tracks but failed on his one visit here which is just about enough to put us off him here, even if we do still expect a big run from the four year old.
In receipt of five pounds, we narrowly prefer the chances of Supersta (9/4), another four year old and with plenty of winning form, even if last time out wasn’t one of them. His record here is two wins out of three, both over this trip of a mile, with his only other career wins at Wolverhampton and Windsor, one at each track. We can ignore his last race when he had no sort of a run until it was all too late, and if he gets a clear path this afternoon with Andrew Mullen back on board, he looks to have a better chance than his odds suggest, though no one is saying this is an easy race to solve.
As mentioned elsewhere John Jenkins is more than capable given the appropriate horses and in Pretty Bubbles (9/1) he has a serious contender despite the burden of top weight. Her last win was at Newbury in early July but she has placed a few times since (which has sadly kept her handicap mark as high as it is), though this is her first visit to Chelmsford. An artificial surface is not alien to her with wins at Southwell (twice) and Kempton (four times), but she is still stuck with four pounds more than her highest winning mark and that might be enough to stop her again.
At first glance Loyalty (9/1) has no chance whatsoever but as a course and distance winner who has scored off of higher handicap marks you cannot write him off. Although at the age of eight, improvement is not very likely, his mark today is just 79, and he has won off of 87 (November 2013) and even 97 (December 2011), though the chances are those glory days are a thing of the past now.
To end with, we have to mention One Pekan (8/1), who travels from the Newmarket yard of Roger Varian. He is another whose best days may well be behind him, but his one and only handicap win was off the same mark of 83 that he is stuck with here which has to be encouraging. Twelve runs without a win are enough to put us off backing him here, but he isn’t without a chance for those who like one at a price –but not for us today.