All-weather expert Jamie Maynard previews the pick of the action at Chelmsford tonight.
7.45 Chelmsford preview
Not a very strong looking nursery on paper with the form of many here decidedly lacking in substance.
Conflagration hasn’t shown much on his three starts to date, although his latest effort was definitely his best and the switch to handicaps could eke out some improvement with a good jockey booking in Jim Crowley to note.
David Dennis’s Swissal hasn’t been far away in his last two outings, most recently when beaten by a half length at Kempton, but he has gone up a couple of pounds in defeat which isn’t ideal.
One who could outrun her odds is the top-weighted Mother Of Dragons in the hands of capable apprentice Nicola Currie, who gets to claim 7lb. She was a staying-on second over the minimum here last week and in the hope that this step back up in trip will suit she has an each-way chance.
My choice though is the only winner of the field, INUK for Richard Hughes.
This filly won on her penultimate start in similar conditions at Kempton and the drop back to five furlongs the last day probably didn’t suit, when beaten a length in third.
She’s 5lb higher than for her victory but the return to six furlongs is the right move and there’s certainly room for more improvement over this distance and she has the added bonus of the inside draw, which is key at this track. She can make her presence felt in a weak contest.
8.45 Chelmsford preview
Another ordinary-looking handicap, this time over the extended mile and five-furlong trip.
The one who jumps off the page is Sir Mark Prescott’s filly Send Up, who since going handicapping has won two of her three starts, one of which was over course and distance at the back end of September. She was beaten less than two lengths last time in a slightly better race and is on an unchanged mark so is deservedly carrying the tag of favouritism.
Beatisa has switched yards to Christine Dunnett and signed off from Ed Walker with a pretty comprehensive victory over a mile and three, which has resulted in an 8lb rise. The combination of a new stable and further step up in trip has the potential to unlock more improvement.
The one i’m siding with though is Jamie Osborne’s gelding VOLTURNUS, who has looked a real stayer in his last couple of runs since a short break.
His earlier form this year wasn’t anything to shout about, but came over a trip too short. He may have been a surprise winner two runs back over two miles at Kempton when a 25/1 shot but he followed that effort up with a good third over course and distance a fortnight ago and I think he’s got more to offer now stepping up in grade.
Osborne has booked Nicky Mackay for the ride, a combination that has only occurred twice before, one of which was successful. All things considered, then, he looks a bet.
Posted at 0750 GMT on 01/12/17.