Juvenile Novice Stakes races are low on the ground at the time of year, but Chelmsford’s opening race on Tuesday is one such contest over the 6f trip. The top horse on the card – Fares Kodiac – and the Mick Easterby trained Brandy Spirit are closely matched on the form of their recent Newcastle meeting and the pair look set to fight out the finish in the 4.15pm…
Brandy Spirit went off at 33/1 for her debut, where she finished a staying on 3rd, a comfortable head in front of Fares Kodiac who ran well for 4th all the same. The Botti trained runner is the more experienced and is 2lb better off at the weights here, but logic suggests that BRANDY SPIRIT can improve a good deal on her second career run, and get the win under Daniel Tudhope.
A Class 6 Claiming Stakes is next up at 4.45pm and the David Evans trained LOS CAMACHOS is 4lb clear of his closest pursuer on BHA ratings. The addition of Gina Mangan claiming 7lb makes the 3yo a very dangerous proposition indeed in this company. He ran a good bit below his best here over 7f last time out, but clocked a searingly good speed figure over this trip of a mile before that. Los Camachos rather stands out at these weights and looks certain to go very close.
The 5.15pm is the feature race on the card, a 7f Class 3 Handicap worth £15,000 in prize money. It would be little surprise to see David O’Meara’s Firmament finally get a win on the board for the season, this is a much easier task than most of his assignments in 2018. But for all the horse is full of ability, he does find it very difficult to get his head in front and may be vulnerable once again. Greatest Journey would have a big chance if finding the form of his 2nd here three runs ago, but Mick Easterby’s charge has lost his way since then. The more consistent horse and the one to back as such is SWIFT APPROVAL, who rarely runs a poor race for Stuart Williams and he’s down in Class here too, having ran with credit in a Class 2 over the course and distance last time out.
Another Novice Stakes stakes place at 5.45pm, this time for 3yo+ horses and the Nick Williams trained FLYING TIGER rather jumps off the page, a quality hurdler bidding to regain some confidence over this ten furlong trip on the flat. It’s a good opportunity for the 5yo and hopefully he can get back on the wagon here before a return to obstacles. MAINSAIL ATLANTIC bumped into one over the course and distance last time out, but is a horse that continues to knock at the door of a win for trainer James Fanshawe and the 6.15pm Handicap over ten furlongs also, looks a good window for the 3yo colt by Speightstown to land a deserving win. He stays on the same mark of 81 and looks sure to run a big race. Gary Moore’s King Of The Sand is an interesting runner on the A/W now, given his name of course, but also on the pick of his turf form ahead of his debut on the “Sand”.
A lowly and very tricky looking Class 7 over 1m5f is the only race we’ll overlook at 6.45pm, but in the last at 7.15pm, John Gallagher’s LADWEB stands out like a sore thumb. This experienced 8yo has been running grades above this level on the turf and his All-Weather rating of 65 is thoroughly exploitable in this company.
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