Espresso Freddo features among Jamie Maynard's Chelmsford selection as our man previews Thursday evening's all-weather meeting.
6.30 Chelmsford - Bet toteJACKPOT At betfred.com Handicap
The standard in this 7f handicap is set by Ed Dunlop’s Anarson on the back of a comprehensive victory over this trip at Wolverhampton last week and a repeat performance of that will see him go close despite carrying a 6lb penalty.
The lightly-raced Amazing Grazing won a maiden over the trip before being well held on handicap debut. He showed more last time over a furlong shorter but he’s back up in distance for this and will need to find that little bit more if he’s to land the spoils.
The selection then is the Robert Stephens-trained ESPRESSO FREDDO who, apart from the last day, has been taking on better opposition than this where he's failed to land a proper blow over a longer trip which didn't look to suit.
He led inside the final furlong on his most recent outing before getting swallowed up late on over a mile so the drop back to seven looks a good move especially as he landed a maiden and handicap double over this distance at the start of last year. The latter was off a 1lb lower mark and it's interesting to see the experienced Adam Kirby booked for the ride as he's only ever ridden three times for the Newport-based handler, two of which have been successful.
This four-year-old looks to have a good opportunity of returning to the winners enclosure from the plum draw in stall one.
7.00 Chelmsford - Bet totequadpot At betfred.com Handicap
The feature race on a card that looks to be lacking real quality is a 0-80 handicap run over the mile-and-a-quarter journey.
Since winning a maiden at the back end of 2016, Hairdryer has been nothing but consistent in five subsequent runs in handicaps, with two-and-a-quarter lengths the furthest he's been beaten.
His most recent second placed effort means he's back up to a mark of 77 but he had twice previously gone close from this mark over course and distance and again can run his race.
Wimpole Hall has won over both six and seven furlongs as well as a mile and he seemingly enjoyed the step up to this trip last time when third and he re-opposes on slightly better terms with the winner that day TANGRAMM, but Dean Ivory's gelding was probably worth more than the final distances suggested and a 2lb swing in the weights doesn't look enough to see the placings reversed this time round.
The selection has since finished an unlucky second at Wolverhampton where a clear run would've probably seen him land a double.
He gets to run off the same mark again today and he's got a great opportunity to gain compensation as he's effective over the distance, unbeaten at this course and is only 1lb higher than when successful over track and trip two years ago, all reasons to believe another bold showing is expected.
Posted at 2230 GMT on 10/01/18.