5.45pm Chelmsford Tips & Betting preview 30/03/2017

This is a competitive apprentice handicap over 1m 2f, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Ed Dunlop has been in good recent form and his handicap debutant JIVE FACTOR can win this. He takes a big drop in grade following three maidens in much better company and his trainer can get one ready off a long break. Lady Hester has to be feared for John Gosden whilst Beauchamp Opal may run a better race than his odds imply following a decent enough run last time out.

1 LADY HESTER – There aren’t many horses rated as low as 66 in John Gosden’s yard and he persists with this dirt-bred type. She’s by Bernardini and has run to a modest level in four starts to date which all came on the All-Weather over 7 furlongs and a mile. She steps up in trip here which should be a positive and she should have some more progression to come. Interesting with an experienced apprentice on-board.

2 ZENOVIA – First time in handicap company today and she’s shown a little bit of form in three starts over a mile. She should progress over this extra distance although her sire has produced some speedier types and it’ll be interesting to see how she fares in this. Needs plenty of respect for a trainer with a 21% strike rate here and she should be closely watched in the betting.

3 CONKERING HERO – Beaten a fair way on handicap debut off 4lbs higher back in January and the form hasn’t proved to be anything out of the ordinary. This is a step down in grade which should see him run to better effect and the step up in trip will certainly suit based on breeding and he makes use of David Egan’s 7lb claim which could be a smart jockey booking. Could be one of interest at a bigger price for a yard who have been in good form of late.

4 JIVE FACTOR – Trainer is operating at a 30% strike rate in the last fortnight and he fields an interesting runner in this. He was comfortably beaten on all four starts on the turf last season but they all came in Class 4 company and today’s test represents a substantial drop in grade on handicap debut off a mark of 63. George Wood is a good booking (21% strike rate here) and he could be a threat with a nice draw in stall 3.

5 BONNIE ARLENE – No chance with a runaway winner at Southwell last time out off this mark and she’s stepped up in trip here. She’s one of the more experienced rivals in this and she should strip fitter today with that run under her belt although this looks more competitive than that last run. Others make more appeal in this at the weights. Jockey has her first ride at Chelmsford this evening.

6 BEAUCHAMP OPAL – His run last time out could prove to be a decent bit of form with the first and second having gone on to run well in better company since. The handicapper has left her on the same mark but she’s been beaten three times off it before although she gets the assistance of Paddy Bradley’s claim. Has shown enough to suggest she can win a race of this nature but the handicapper has her on the right mark.

7 LOG OFF – Has one success to her name which came over a mile at Southwell earlier this year. She remains 3lbs higher than that mark which seems harsh from the handicapper given she’s been beaten by double-figure distances on her last two starts including over 1m 4f. Trainer has a 7% strike rate here which is slightly disappointing and she’s not one for confidence backers.

8 MONEYORYOURLIFE – Has placed on his last six starts and connections haven’t gelded him yet which is a positive sign in itself. He was beaten by a short head when sent off the 9/4 joint-favourite last time out and he’s certainly in the ‘frustrating’ category now he’s raised 2lbs in the weights. He should give a good account again over the same trip as his last start but he’s become disappointing.

9 NAVAJO STAR – Michael Appleby’s filly was bought for 30,000GNS as a yearling and is by Mastercraftsman so she should relish this trip. She has been well-beaten in three maidens to date at huge prices so it’s hard to envisage success on all known form. However, this is a shrewd stable and she gets a bit of weight from the field with Jane Elliott’s 5lb claim so she can’t be ruled out. Would be significant if there was market support.

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