Race Time: 6.05pm Meeting: Chelmsford Day: Thursday 19th November 2015 Full Race Name: Scoop6soccer Handicap Class Two
A valuable £20,000 in prize money has attracted some very decent horses to Chelmsford tonight,and while trainer Richard Hannon is better known for runners at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood than on the all-weather over the winter he sends Steal The Scene (10/1). Running off bottom weight thanks to sneaking in here off a mark of 80, he made only his second All Weather appearance (and first here at Chelmsford) last time out in a Class 4 when he finished 3rd in a performance that should be upgraded as he not only finished best of those who were prominent through the race he was also returning from a 4 month break and will be fitter for the run. This is his first time in a Class 2 but he ran well to finish 2nd at Haydock in a Class 3 off two pounds lower – the winner of that went on to win next time out off three pounds higher while the 3rd not only won next time out but is now rated 94 after a 2nd and a win and even the 5th finished a close 2nd next time out. That run gave the impression a pacey 7 furlongs would suit nicely and that looks like what he’ll get today at a double figure price.
One more against the field for us, and Cricklewood Green (12/1) has clocked some decent enough times to suggest that if he gets the race run to suit him, he could be there or thereabouts at the finish. A burst of form from August to October saw the son of Bob And John win twice and finish runner up another twice in four races after which the handicapper appeared to have his measure for the next couple of outings. That may still be the case today to be honest (the handicapper hasn’t relented an ounce for his last defeat), and he is yet to win on the all-weather which has to be a bigger question mark than we want as punters, but if there is a huge priced shock he still seems about the most likely to provide it.
Anyone looking for an in form runner cannot easily get past the favourite – Marco Botti’s Crazy Chic (2/1), a son of Exceed And Excel who has won his last two races at Kempton and Lingfield over this seven furlong trip. Naturally, the handicapper has taken some notice, and he has been put up eleven pounds, five for his first win and six for the last. We feel connections can feel a little hard done by with the severity of those new ratings as he only ever does just about enough and idles once he gets to the front, but then again only his closest connections know how much he has left in the tank, and he could surprise us all again this Thursday evening. However, at 9/4 he’s too short for us to back, especially given what a tricky ride he can be. He has a straight form line to Outer Space (6/1) through Big Whiskey which would suggest that the prices should be much closer together although it’s hard to judge how much improvement the latter has left in him.
Al Khan (7/1) is now a six year old, even if it does feel as if he has been around for ever, but that may be because he regularly flatters to deceive, fooling us in to considering a bet and then failing to follow up on whatever promise he managed to show the race before! Nine overall wins from 54 starts isn’t too bad but two from fourteen on the all-weather is slightly less impressive (remembering that generally speaking, the quality is lower), though he is yet to race at Chelmsford so could turn those statistics on their head. Since winning two races in a row in April (at Catterick and Ayr), his handicap mark has been bounced back in to the 90s again (95 this evening), which we sadly see as being a bit too much for him against this sort of field.