A competitive sixteen runner handicap with a good size field to finish off Chelmsford’s Monday card. Our expert tipster previews every runner and picks out a big price tip for the race.
IN SUMMARY: Welliesinthewater won a Class 3 handicap in summer off just one pound lower in June, and should run well from stall 5 here. However, HEARTSONG looks extremely well handicapper and steps back up in trip to 7f. A multiple winner over 5f and 6f off marks as high as 78, he is well treated here off just 66 and can run well at a big price. Mezzotint is of Each Way interest having previously won at this course over further.
1 Kalk Bay – Beat Mon Beau Visage and Let’s Twist when winning over this distance at Newcastle last Monday, putting in his best performance since June. Was turned out fairly quickly after that win too and finished just 5th, and has struggled off marks in the mid 80s since. 6lb penalty puts him at a mark he hasn’t won off since October 2010 and will struggle under top weight of 9-13 for that reason today.
2 Mezzotint – 7 year old with a good record on the All Weather (4 wins, 4 seconds and 2 thirds from just 18 starts), has won at this course (over 8f) and over this distance before. Has had just one effort over 7f at Chelmsford though (eright attempts at 8 furlongs, two wins) and likely he’ll find this trip a little too sharp. May run well enough to find a place though if the pace is a quick one.
3 Pearl Spectre – Beaten into 6th off this same mark 6 days ago at Lingfield – that followed two far more disappointing runs where he was beaten big lengths, including less than three weeks ago over C&D. Did run well here in better company off a similar mark back in January and highly tried in a Class 2 handicap over 1m 2f but connections have generally struggled to find his best trip and quick turn around time isn’t in his favour.
4 Wellesinthewater – Strong in the early betting market, won here over 8f (beating Mezzotint) back in April and won at a big price off one pound lower in a valuable Class 3 at Doncaster. Ran well considering he took a keen hold two starts ago in the London Mile Series Final Handicap and was probably beaten by his draw out in 12 last time out. Others look better value in the field though considering his overnight price.
5 Dutch Golden Age – Last time out winner when impressing over 6f here last month. That was a weaker contest but this four year old is surely open to progress. Was put up 7lb for that win by the handicapper but was well beaten when last trying this trip here depsite being in good form and has had an inconsistent season. Not one too put too much faith in but wouldn’t be a surprise if he did run well.
6 Mon Beau Visage – Ruined his race last time out when pulling too hard behind Kalk Bay having been sent off favourite at Newcastle. Daniel Tudhope is an eye catching booking (1st and 2nd on his last two rides on this horse). Only three years old and still open to progress but will have to settle far better to have a chance here.
7 Bell Heather – Disappointed in the summer – three attempts at Chester – following an initially promising start to her three year old career. Appeared to find a return to form in August and tired when returning from a short break last time out, three weeks ago. Has largely been raced at 7.5f and 8f and drop back in trip isn’t certain to suit, but could run on past beaten horses at a big price.
8 Russian Reward – Owner has had plenty of success on the All Weather, and notched another win over 8f here 11 days ago when this 4 year old made all under today’s pilot Jack Mitchell. Carries 5lb more today which still sees him well handicapped compared to his initial opening mark last summer (that was 6lb higher) but that win came after making all and would need everything to drop right to be able to successfully pull off same tactics from stall 16 today.
9 Showing Off – Three year old disappointed 18 days ago on his first appearance for new trainer Michael Wigham following 17,000 guineas sale in October. That was a very similar race to today (C&D, also Class 4) and no real excuses in running. Dropped 2lb for that run but didn’t show enough to be an attractive bet today.
10 Panther Patrol – Six year old with a 33% strike rate on the All Weather so far (4 wins from 12 starts). Ran well under today’s jockey Hollie Doyle last time out at Kempton when sent off favourite, only beaten half a length into third. Form from that race isn’t working out very well, with 1st, 2nd and 4th all beaten on their next starts, and trainer has had no winners from 7 runners here this year.
11 My Dad Syd – Likely to be sent off near the head of the betting market following a narrow defeat at Newcastle last time out when sent off favourite. Handicapper has raised him just one pound for that effort which seems generous as it looked a competitive race. Versatile with tactics and can lead or be ridden close to the pace. Worrying that blinkers which have had an excellent effect on his last two starts have been swapped back out for a visor though.
12 Rockley Point – Winner of a C&D Maiden here last month when the odds on favourite ran poorly to only finish 4th. Tough to read that form and was well beaten on his last handicap start (off this mark) at Wolves in a Class 6 event. Does seem to like the All Weather but this is a big step up in class (other handicaps were 2 year old only) and will find this much more difficult.
13 Let’s Twist – Beaten only a length behind Kalk Bay here last week and gets a 6lb swing in the weights under the same jockey. Expect the same leading tactics will be employed today under Shane Gray from his draw in stall 1 but will face more competitive for the lead here and tends to struggle under those circumstances. Still fairly lightly raced and worth considering in running if he does happen to get an easy lead.
14 Titan Goddess – One of only two C&D winners in the field (Rockley Point the other), form figures for last five starts read an impressive 11122. Has been hiked 21lb in the handicap because of those wins, but this is her first run on the All Weather since winning here which may unlock more potential. Unfancied last time out at Newmarket when running well over 8f, and could find leaders more difficult to reel in today. Each Way chances if the race falls right for her though.
15 Heartsong – Showed promise on his last start over this trip back in July 2015, finishing 3rd of 6 off a mark of 72. Handicapper has been lenient and has dropped him quickly from a high of 81 this time last year to 68 now. Tried new tactics last time out and probably overraced a little facing competition for the lead, and likely to revert to normal tactics here. Has shown enough promise on last twice to suggest that she has a big run in her and her price looks good value despite her poor recent form.
16 Rock Warbler – 3 year old who appears to favour the All Weather to the turf, with two wins on synthetic surfaces in his last three starts. Retains hood and tongue tie combination which have made a big difference on his last four starts and still well handicapped on old form. Has been slowly into stride twice recently though and, up another five pounds, isn’t sure to have enough in hand to overcome that today.