Chelmsford City Racecourse Guide. One of the newest tracks in the land, and in its second incarnation after the ill-fated Great Leighs project eventually gave rise to Chelmsford City. Notable for its grandstand being in the middle of the track, it hosts all-weather racing under the floodlights all year round.
David Probert says: “A flat one mile oval with even proportions: quarter mile straights and bends. The track has just been riding a little inconsistently in recent times, and I think they're still using pretty much the same surface as they were ten years ago. Maybe they've added a bit of wax but not much and it might just be in need of re-laying. That would likely sort things out.
It's been proving fairly difficult to win from off the pace and the kickback is quite severe. They put great prize money on and try to do things right, but the inconsistency of the track is a little bit frustrating. I'm not saying you can't win from off the pace, because you can: if they go very quick you can weave your way through.
And they normally go a good gallop at Chelmsford - you rarely get a slowly run race round there. If I had a horse that needed a quick six furlongs or seven furlongs I'd take them to Chelmsford.
At five furlongs, it's pretty much point and shoot: try to get close to or on the lead in the furlong before the turn, hold a position through the turn and then kick into the straight. Very few horses come from the second half of the field over five here.
The same is true up to a point over six and seven, though they can sometimes go too hard and set it up for a midfield stalker or occasionally a deeper closer. The problem over seven is that you normally have about 14 runners, so you're likely to get people drawn fourteen down to ten trying to go forward so you get a right good gallop into that first bend.
Also down the back, just before the four furlong pole, there's like a little path which is kind of raised up and you can sometimes see a horse when it encounters that it will switch leads a couple of times which makes it quite tricky for a horse sometimes to get balanced around that top bend.
Draw wise, you can get away with being drawn out wide as long as you have tactical, or early, speed. The only disadvantage is over five because you're almost straight into that turn.
The mile races start in a dogleg chute on the turn after the winning post, and those drawn lowest can sometimes get squeezed up as the field cuts a tangent onto the arc of the bend on the main track. It's similar to the seven furlong chute at Wolverhampton: you've got about half a furlong before things open up as you hit the turn.
At longer distances it's pretty fair, though it can get a bit scrimmage-y going into the first turn at a mile and a quarter, but other than that it's pretty fair. That said, being in the first half of the field is a positive at any trip around Chelmsford.
There isn't really any part across the track more favoured than the rest. You will often see jockeys swinging wide into the home turn but that's more tactical race riding than looking for a quick strip. You can certainly win up the rail anyway."
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