The penultimate race of the night at Chelmsford on Thursday is a six furlong handicap. See our betting tips and full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: NEWSTEAD ABBEY was only beaten a nose off of this mark at Wolverhampton last week and a repeat of that performance will see him go close under Tom Eaves. The horse is very well backed in the market and will take some stopping.
1 NEWSTEAD ABBEY – Won his penultimate start at Wolverhampton over today’s distance and off a three pound higher mark he was only denied by a nose over the same course and distance seven days ago. He remains on the same mark and is an obvious player once again under Tom Eaves, with the form of many of his rivals far from convincing. The form of the yard is of some concern, but he should be on the premises.
2 ROYS DREAM – Course and distance winner who is now only a pound above her last winning mark, running some very solid races in defeat recently. She wasn’t beaten far when fourth at Carlisle two weeks ago and she now drops into Class 6 company for the first time since her course and distance success back in August 2016. She can build on those previous good runs to take a third career victory under seven pound claimer Patrick Vaughan.
3 WELSH ROSE – Still a maiden after ten starts, but she is now on a very lowly mark and has joined the in-form Archie Watson yard. She wasn’t beaten too far when having excuses at Wolverhampton on her latest start and she’s three pounds lower here, which gives her definite claims under Luke Morris. A bold bid is expected and she has to be considered.
4 SOARING SPIRITS – His last start in Class 6 company yielded a comfortable victory at Nottingham back in June, with his current mark switching back to the all weather now being a lowly one. That said, he’s been poor on recent starts and needs this drop in class to help if he’s to be winning again under three pound claimer Jack Duern. Each way claims, but he’d probably prefer the turf surface.
5 BILLYOAKES – Course and distance winner off five pounds higher in December, but he’s been a very mixed bag in 2017 and his recent efforts are hardly inspiring. He’s been soundly beaten on almost all of his starts this year, last seen finishing last in a Class 6 Handicap at Leicester and he had the run of the race that day. He’s three pounds lower here yet makes little appeal in his current mood.
6 QUITE A STORY – Only two wins from 18 starts for this five-year-old mare and she’s been difficult to follow recently for Patrick Chamings. She was last seen floundering in seventh place at Wolverhampton and a two pound drop in the ratings does little to tempt us. Charlie Bennett takes off a useful three pounds, however she should miss out on the money here against more interesting rivals.
7 DREAM START – Showed some promise in maidens for John Ryan and she was far from disgraced on handicap debut when fourth at Kempton, keeping on well towards the finish. She now drops back in trip, which doesn’t look certain to suit as she tends to gallop on at the same pace, with her speed up for question at this distance. She looks more than likely to be outpaced here and should fall short.
8 SOMETHING LUCKY – Very inconsistent sort for Daniel Steele who produced his best effort for some time when finishing fifth at Wolverhampton three months ago, though the form still leaves him with something to find today. He’s a pound lower here and is well handicapped on his best form of previous years, but he remains risky and isn’t high on the list, despite his jockey being in such great form at present.
9 FIRESNAKE – Dual course and distance winner who gained the second of those two starts ago, keen throughout but finding enough to surge past in the closing stages. He was, however, subsequently well beaten at Thirsk off of his new mark and he’ll need to bounce back quickly if he’s to threaten here. That couldn’t be discounted as he’s still well handicapped on the best of his old form, so he’s an each way contender under Callum Rodriguez, who takes off five pounds.
10 ENCAPSULATED – Now one pound below his last winning mark, so there is no doubt that his mark at the moment is fair, but he’s shown very little on his last three runs and he badly needs to bounce back. He was struggling a long way out when last at Wolverhampton two months ago and he has far too much to prove to be fancied today.
11 NELLIE’S DANCER – Ran her best race yet when second at Yarmouth three starts ago in a competitive enough race, but she has failed to go on from it since. She was beaten seven lengths when third at Yarmouth on her latest start and she’s only been lowered two pounds in the handicap. She’s unproven on polytrack and there are simply too many question marks to answer on this occasion.
12 CLASSIC FLYER – Has struggled badly since joining the Christine Dunnett yard, struggling to beat a rival home more often than not. She was never nearer and always outpaced when seventh at Southwell ten days ago and she looks extremely vulnerable from outside the handicap.
13 UPPER LAMBOURN – Last win came way back in March 2013 off a nine pound higher mark and he returns from a 203 day absence with plenty to prove. He had been running reasonably well when last seen but never looked likely to threaten the judge. He is entitled to need this run and others make plenty more appeal.
14 LOUIS VEE – Course and distance winner, but his last victory came back in January 2016 and he competes here from outside the handicap. He has been way short of his best on his last three runs and he’s very easy to swerve considering his overall strike rate.