A brilliant albeit massively competitive little card at Chelmsford City today so I thought I would share a few of my thoughts with you.
2.10 Chelmsford City (8 runners) Havens Hospice 6f 3yo Handicap, Class 3.
Avg OR : 89, Median OR : 88.
A case could be made for the majority of the field but a runner I thought may run well was Quiet Endeavour who is having his first run for a yard that have generally done well with runners they recruit from other yards. They generally operate around the 19% strike rate but if narrowed down to just the AW that strike rate jumps to 32%. Quiet Endeavour has led or raced close to the speed on all 8 of his AW starts, Heath Charnock may be pushed forward, Blonde Warrior has led and gets the first time blinkers but both may be out of their comfort zones taking on Quiet Endeavour who from stall 3 may get an easy time up front, he is a two times CD winner as a juvenile when with his previous yard but it is that previous yard that worry me. There is no argument in the fact Archie Watson has an incredible record recently but in my opinion like a few other Trainers, his horses can be over raced and exhausted by the time they go to a new yard which may well be the case with this one. Quiet Endeavour run 8 times as a two-year old winning 4 races on the bounce before taking the leap from Class 4 to Group 3 when he finished last beaten 7 lengths, in fact since his last career win although being gelded, he has been beaten a total of 52 lengths in 7 runs. So as one can see it takes a leap of faith to think he can get back to winning ways but the change of scenery, return from his longest career break of 91 days, well drawn and 2 from 2 over CD at 25/1 he does look a decent price at which to take a risk.
2.45 Chelmsford City (13 runners) Luxdeco.com Elsenham 7f, 3yo+ Handicap
Avg OR : 91, Median OR : 93
Another fiercely competitive handicap with a few well handicapped runners. War Glory is My CD Top Rated for his win LTO in what looked a stronger race than this. He had Firmament and Habub in behind that day . Firmament was 5lbs well in that day but meets him on the correct terms today. Habub is interesting on 3lbs better terms especially if you consider he was given a suspect ride last time when having every opportunity to lead the jockey was constantly looking around as if there was a previous arrangement. Better drawn in stall 3 today one would like to think the lightly raced colt may be able to dictate the pace but he does look to face some early pace pressure from the likes of, Piece Of History in stall 2 has led over further so may sent forward to make this a true test, Lake Volta has made all for all 5 of his career wins but from stall 11 he will need to be out sharply although it was with these connections that Habub surrendered the lead to last time. Lake Volta does not look the same animal on the AW as he does turf but this does look one of his easier AW tasks. Sonja Henie stall 4 is another that has made all for both of her AW wins and pressed the leader for her only turf win but all of those wins have come in much lesser company. So with the likelihood of there being a decent early pace it may pay to sit just off the speed. The one I have opted for is Breathless Times who is another making his debut for a new yard, this time for the in form Stuart Williams who again appears to do better on the AW where he generally operates at around 28% with experienced runners making their debut for him after a 75 days plus break. Breathless Times was previously with Roger Charlton when last seen over CD back in May in a race that has worked out quite well with the first and second now rated 104 and 106 respectively, the second that day was Raucous who is now a stablemate. Breathless Times will need luck from stall 13 but I don’t find the draw as important over 7 furlongs as I do over 6 and 8 furlongs.