7.15pm Chelmsford tips for Friday’s race. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: A tough race to call but bottom weight HAMMER GUN (Each Way) will feel like he has been let loose carrying just eight stone seven and with top lightweight jockey Franny Norton taking the ride. He wasn’t beaten too far last time out over course and distance and looks massively overpriced and is well worthy of each way consideration.
1 HOLIDAY MAGIC – Seven wins from twenty-two starts on the all-weather yet none from fourteen on grass so clearly a far better performer on this type of surface. One win from two starts here at Chelmsford but ten runs without a win now and has to carry nine pounds more than his highest winning mark which suggests he will find this difficult.
2 ALFRED HUTCHINSON – David O’Meara and jockey Danny Tudhope do well in this sort of event and the now nine-year-old has already won over £190,00 in win and place prize money and is better than this class if retaining his ability. His last win was in a Class Two at Lingfield off a rating six pounds higher and after a good fourth following six months off last time out he looks handicapped top put in a huge run again this evening.
3 KICKBOXER – First time on the polytrack at the age of six rings alarm bells but he has won six times on the turf, the latest over five furlongs at Thirsk in May. Michael Appleby tried a visor last time when he finished twenty-first at Doncaster but this trip may well test his stamina and he seems sure to go off at a big price here.
4 SEA OF FLAMES – Richard Spencer has decided to add a tongue tie to help the gelding breath and cope with any kickback as he debuts for the yard after leaving David Elsworth in late October. Not seen on track since finishing eighth of ten over the mile at Lingfield back in March and not sure to be speedy enough to drop back to this seven furlongs now, though he is potentially well handicapped if his new surroundings can rekindle his better efforts.
5 CLIFFS OF CAPRI – Two wins from only the three starts for Simon Crisford including a very easy three-length victory at Kempton over this trip last month on is first run for close to a year, and he has now changed hands and is in the care of Jamie Osborne. Put up eight pounds for that win the son of Canford Cliffs needs to improve again, but is lightly raced and seems sure to go close this evening with Dougie Costello riding the gelding for the first time.
6 GILGAMESH – Three out of three this year for the George Scott gelding and interesting to see Robert Havlin booked to ride (who rode Cliffs Of Capri to his last win) as he looks for his four-timer for 2017, and five timer overall. Unbeaten on the all-weather with two wins at Wolverhampton he has been put up another five pounds for winning at Redcar in May and he hasn’t been seen since and with his yard in a quiet patch, it will be interesting to see how he gets on now.
7 PEARL SPECTRE – His last three wins have all been off a rating of 85 with other victories off lower marks, yet the Phil McEntee gelding has a six-pound penalty today for winning over this course and distance eight days ago which means she will need a career best off of 91 here. She got first run that day and was nearly caught near the line and might not get things quite as easily here despite Nicol Currie’s seven-pound claim.
8 GOLDEN GOAL – Still here at Newmarket while the better Godolphin horses head off to Dubai for the winter, the son of Street Cry has already won three of his five races this season here, two over this trip and the latest over a mile. He was beaten by a long eight lengths on his first run on the turf at Ascot last time out when running too freely to ever get home, but he is hard to ignore back on this surface and should go well off a career-high mark.
9 SHYRON – Twenty months and eighteen races since his last win at Lingfield on the polytrack in March 2016 when seeing off Majestic Moon by a neck in a better race than this, but he has placed enough times to keep his handicap mark on the high side. Third at Lingfield last time out he has been dropped a kindly two pounds which has to make him a lot more competitive in this less exalted field.
10 ALEJANDRO – A winner off much higher ratings in his youth, the eight-year-old gelding last scored at Beverley in May off four pounds lower but disappointed on the Newmarket turf earlier this month when fifth of eight over the Rowley mile. One win from ten starts on the all-weather fails to inspire too much in this field and he will need to do better for the David Loughnane stable who are struggling for recent winners.
11 HIGHLAND ACCLAIM – Presumably the David O’Meara second string with David Probert in the saddle and an in and out contender who can have his own ideas about what is required at the races. Thirteen starts on all-weather tracks have seen two third spots and zero victories which is far from encouraging, but he has won six times on the turf so clearly has ability when he deems to use it. Hard to recommend on his all-weather form so far.
12 WELLIESINTHEWATER – Four wins from thirteen starts here is a healthy return for the followers of Derek Shaw’s gelding but was a poor tenth at Newmarket last time out though that was his first run in over three months and may have been needed. His last win off a mark of 85 was a career best and he only has a pound more here, and back at his favourite track, he may well have each way possibilities.
13 BOY IN THE BAR – Runs in varying headgear and Ian Williams has decided to replace blinkers with a visor again this evening to see if that helps him focus. Last time at Kempton he finished a respectable third, beaten a length and a quarter by Gulliver over six furlongs off of this rating but he is yet to score over this trip despite four attempts and that has to count against his chances.
14 HAMMER GUN – Has to carry a pound more than his handicap suggests thanks to race conditions but that is unlikely to stop him. He was only beaten a length when fourth over course and distance last time out off a pound lower and he will appreciate the lower weight on his back in this field and ought to put up a very bold show at a decent price.