The feature race of the Chelmsford card on Friday night is a mile handicap with almost £13,000 in prize money to the winner. Read on for our expert tip and preview.
IN SUMMARY: Mukalal and Mutaraaby are both lively contenders for the three year old generation here, both open to further improvement given such unexposed profiles. Wealth Tax won a similar contest to this last time out, suffering trouble in running so has to rate a danger but the selection goes to BOLD PREDICTION. He is perfectly housed for a front runner, drawn in 1, four pounds below his most recent winning mark, with Jenny Powell taking a further five pounds off his back, he looks overpriced.
1 BUNBURY – Has looked a difficult customer at times so it’s no surprise that connections are reaching for first time headgear. His career best has come at this track, although it was over a mile and a quarter, dropping back to a mile here. He got going all too late over this trip at Ascot last time so will need them to go hard in front to being his stamina into play late on.
2 POWER GAME – Has run moderately on both starts so far in 2017 on turf, but they can easily be excused as his best form has all come on the artificial surfaces. He is a pound lower than when scoring at Chelmsford over further back in January 2016 which makes him of each way interest for a canny yard, given he has plentiful form over this trip as well.
3 UNFORGIVING MINUTE – All five wins have come on the all weather, the most recent of which came at this track over seven furlongs last autumn. That was only in selling grade but the confidence boost saw him finish third back in handicap company the next time. He has shown very little since which makes him hard to support in a tough looking field.
4 HAMMER GUN – Got up in the dying strides over this course and distance earlier in 2017, clocking up the third win of four on the bounce. He has struggled with higher marks since, though he has dropped two pounds for a much more promising effort when behind Wealth Tax two runs ago. That still leaves him with a little to find at this level.
5 BOLD PREDICITON – Has drawn the inside gate, perfect for a horse who likes to go from the front. He has a little to find with Wealth Tax and Hammer Gun on his most recent run here when folding close home but Jenny Powell claims a handy five pounds which can turn the weights in his favour. Is now four pounds below his most recent winning mark, which makes him a huge each way player drawn to attack early.
6 BEACH BAR – Formerly very smart, winning a Leicester handicap off a mark of 96 on his final start for William Knight. Placed off 100 at Meydan in March 2016, it has been a rapid decline to his current mark of 82. Undoubtedly thrown in on his best form, he is still hard to support with no signs of life since runner up at Bath last September.
7 PENDO – Two most recent wins have both come at this track, lastly off four pounds lower at the end of April. That was in Class 4 company, springing a shock on that occasion so it is difficult to see him having the necessary progression to defy his new mark in a race as deep as this one.
8 NORTH CREEK – All three career wins have come over seven furlongs, including at Kempton last time. He has ground to make up with Pendo when last seen at this track and that running leaves him with a lot to find in this company from a career high mark.
9 MUKALAL – One of three from the Classic generation looking to take advantage of the nine pound weight allowance from their elders. He is two for two on the all weather in 2017, winning with a little more in hand than the official margin suggests last time out at Wolverhampton. He beat a now rated 82 horse three lengths at Lingfield the time before so a mark of 88 is still fair and probably underestimates his potential once he learns to settle.
10 VIA SERENDIPITY – Broke his duck at the third attempt in a maiden last year, struggling so far in 2017 albeit in deep company. He was well seen off by Barney Roy in the Greenham to kick off his campaign, most recently drawn on the wrong side in the Britannia at Royal Ascot. This is a drop in class from those assignments, so for all that he was well beaten, he is capable of better.
11 MUTARAABY – Placed in all four career starts, including when tried in cheekpieces last time, he is looking a little tricky to win with. The headgear is dispensed with now and it could be that the step into handicap company will see him in a better light. A mark of 87 should mean that he is competitive, so is another unexposed three year old to add to the mix.
12 KENSTONE – A model of consistency, he has finished outside the first three just once in his last ten starts. Was very impressive cashing in on his lower turf mark last time but his most recent runs on the all weather leave him something to find with Pendo and Hammer Gun which indicates that he is likely to struggle.
13 WEALTH TAX – Won a similar contest to this last time out, finding trouble in running before powering home to land the money late on. That was from the inside draw so a draw towards the outside may be beneficial for this hold up horse, giving Joey Haynes plenty of options. Has only had the seven races so there is room for more improvement in the tank and he looks likely to be in the mix once again.