Well, today's race went very well for us as we highlighted a 4/1 winner sent off at 13/8 and got the 6 runners in the right order including a near 13/1 trifecta for those brave enough to play the exotics.
Hopefully, we can find something of note for Thursday, where "free feature of the day" is the Instant Expert tab on all races, not just the free ones which are...
- 12.25 Thurles
- 12.50 Southwell
- 1.03 Lingfield
- 5.00 Chelmsford
...and in the spirit of trying to tackle competitive-looking contests, we'll try to unravel the last of that quartet : the 5.00 Chelmsford : a 7 runner, Class 2, A/W handicap for 3yo+ over 7f on Polytrack worth a more than useful £11,828 to the winner and as ever, we'll start with the racecard itself, which I've organised purely on alphabetical order...
I'll work through the card from left to right making notes on the pros and cons of each column, something like...
Positive : Ghalyoon, Firmament & Lincoln Park
Negative : Intuitive & Mohareb
Positive : N/A, no class droppers
Negative : Intuitive & Mohareb are both up 1 class after finishing unplaced LTO, whilst Lincoln Park is up two grades.
Three horses (Firmament, Intuitive & Mohareb) have won at this course and over this distance, but NOT over course and distance, whilst both Ghalyoon & Lincoln Park have won over today's 7f trip.
Team Crisford (Intuitive) have a 42% strike rate over the last month and are 25 from 133 (18.8% SR) over the last five years here at Chelmsford, but have gone more than a year and 18 attempts since their last success. John Ryan (Pistoletto) is 0 from 24 over the last five weeks and has a poor record here at Chelmsford with just 8 winners from 118 (6.8% SR) since the start of 2017
Positive : James Doyle (Firmament) & William Buick (Huraiz) are in good form, whilst both have decent records at this venue, as do Jim Crowley (Ghalyyon) and Richard Kingscote (Lincoln Park)
Negative : Ali Rawlinson (Mohareb) has struggled for winners of late, whilst Daragh Keenan (Pistoletto) has just one win from his last 41 rides on this track.
Positive : Firmament & Intuitive
Negative : Huraiz & Pistoletto
From the above, I don't fancy Pistoletto at all, so he's the first for the chop ahead of us visiting the Instant Expert tab...
...where all bar Firmament have plenty of green on the place setting. In his defence, his amber numbers show real consistency across the board, particualrly from so many runs at this grade.
The win side of Instant Expert doesn't really give us too many positive pointers, but here it is anyway...
At Chelmsford, the draw, the pace make-up of the race and they way the two mix can easily make or break a horse's chances and in such contests as this one, I'd say you want to be drawn in stalls 1 to 5, as demonstrated below...
...whilst the pace/draw heatmap looks like this...
and when we overlay with the running styles of our competitors here...
...it looks good for Lincoln Park, who might well try to make all from what has been an unlucky stall 3 with Firmament also looking well placed on the rail to maybe pick the leader off late on.
So, where does this leave us? Well, theoretically, we've still six runners in play, but I'm only really interested in three now. Mohareb is out of form and his jockey has a poor record here, Huraiz was last of nine off today's mark in a similar contest last time out and Intuitive's pair of duck eggs this season (10th of 10 and 11th of 11 at Meydan) don't fill me with confidence ahead of a first UK run in almost 13 months.
Now, we're down to the three I'm interested in : Firmament, Ghalyoon and Lincoln Park...
Firmament was only headed very late on last time out going down by just a nose in a big-field contest at Doncaster. That was another £12k Class 2 contest, but on soft ground. He hung badly right that day conceding plenty of ground, so it is hoped that cheek pieces will help here. Aside from the cross-track drift, he was every bit a winner and a similar effort here could well be enough, provided he doesn't let Lincoln Park get too far clear.
Ghalyoon is likely to go off as favourite, thanks to some eyecatching runs, a big price tag and plenty of winners in his family. Sadly, he does seem to tend to find at least one too good for him, possibly down to the hold-up tactics generally employed. On paper, he should be the best in the field, but normal tactics will mean he has lots of ground to make up late on and the fact that he has lost his three runs this season by a neck twice and by half a length says he doesn't get going quick enough. He has has gone up a pound each time he has run, so he's getting penalised for not winning!
Lincoln Park will probably try to get out and stay out and that's probably his best chance of winning here, as he has gone a long time between drinks. That said, he has just produced two really good efforts in horrible conditions at Haydock and Nottingham. He has been eased a pound in the official ratings and receives weight all round, carrying just 8 stone 8lbs. He fares well on our Speed ratings and could spring a surprise if holding on.
I expect Lincoln Park to attempt to win the race from the front, but I'd hope Firmament doesn't give him too much slack. LP has tended to fade late on over 7f and Firmament should catch him. Whether LP finishes second or third will depend on the tactics employed by Ghalyoon. If he is held back fr as long as he has been so far this season, he finishes third. If he sets off earlier, he overhauls Lincoln Park, but I don't think he'll beat Firmament.
So, it's Firmament for me for me at 4/1, whilst you can get 6's about Lincoln Park a rather skinny-looking 7/4 for Ghalyoon.