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I was disappointed with the efforts of Stintino Sunset, he didn't show the same level of form as he previously shown in the past few runs. Possible Ambition ran better than his previous runs and I did think he was going to win the race, but maybe the jockey went a bit early on him as he did hit the front from a fair distance from home.
Chelmsford 1:55 – All In The Hips 7/2 (1pt)
This is a trappy contest for a 0-58 Class 6 sprint, with a chance being made for the majority of the runners but I felt that the 5lb claim on All In The Hips was vital.
David Evans has been in good form recently, he has racked up four wins from 16 runners in the past fortnight, as well as a further four runner-up finishes. Today's jockey, Jordan Williams has ridden two of the Evans winners, and he gets back on board this horse for the first time since February of last year. Jordan has really started to excel as a jockey, and his two wins in last couple of weeks shows that, so his 5lb claim makes All In The Hips a very good chance in this race given the horse ran well behind an in form horse last time out off a 1lb higher mark and now he takes off a further 5lbs, so is 6lb lower than last time out which was a 1L defeat to a horse who landed a hat trick as was clearly still ahead of the handicapper. He has won off 66, 67 and 65 so his mark of 58 which will be 53 with Jordan's claim puts him on a very dangerous mark, and it's not like he's an old horse, as he has only just turned four, so he still possesses a fair amount of ability for this grade.
This is his first time attempting a Polytrack course since last Feb at Lingfield, which wasn't the ideal of races on the back of a small absence, but he looked to me as if he handled that surface.
Chelmsford 3:40 – Struck Gold 9/4 (1pt, Bet365)
This is another good race for a small field of 6 runners, and four of the six have decent chances. I latched onto Struck Gold who is still very lightly raced over a mile, and looks to be a decent enough mark now back in grade.
He won his first two runs over a mile, he made smooth progress on his first start and the runner-up has since won, winning the race at Newcastle that my selection was in yesterday. On his second start over this trip over today's C&D he showed a lot more heart and proved his worth off a mark of 53 when being stuck behind a wall of horses in the midfield, he managed to get going down the outside and stay on nicely to land the spoils, probably winning better than the winning margin of a neck would suggest. His winning streak came to an end on his next two runs, but he didn't run badly at all when tackling the higher-graded races. From his class 5 race I thought he ran a nice race, the winner was clearly on a decent mark on older pieces of form and has since run a solid race in a Class 4. The runner-up had been in good form, recording many good efforts before the run at Newcastle and the 5th won next time out. Last time out it didn't go to plan from the get-go when he was very slow out of the gates, losing around 10L at the start, and he had to use a fair amount of petrol to get back to the group which showed when his efforts in the final couple of furlongs dwindled when he is normally quite strong at that point in the race, but the way he went through the race was pleasing considering the horrendous start.
My identification of how a race will pan out in terms of pace always seems to go wrong, but I'd like to think there will be a strong pace to aim at in this race. Island Native likes to run from the front given his keenness and Havana Goldrush likes to pressure the leaders, and if that's not the case then he'll go for the lead himself, and I think that could set it up for Struck Gold who will more than likely need a bit of luck in running given he is drawn in 1 and will probably be on the inside.
Southwell 6:30 – Barenboim 22/1 (0.5pt EW, PaddyPower 4pl)
For the best race of the day I'm putting a few quid EW on Barenboim, who is a horse I've always liked and I think the drop to 11f could revive his career.
There's no questioning Barenboim's class, even at the age of 6. That might sound daft given his last two runs which saw him last of 9 and 9th/11, but I really do believe 2m isn't his trip. He stays 2m, as he proved when finishing 3rd at Newcastle in a Class 2 last year, recording an RPR of 104, but he is often far too free to get the trip, and he showcased that when running over 2m at Newcastle last time out. He is far too keen, he still goes through his races like a horse who still has the ability to operate at a decent level but the way he pulls, it's far too taxing over 2m. He has dropped to a mark of 89 which gives him every chance of winning today as he is now below his last winning mark of 91 which came at Newcastle over 12f, and that form looks solid as the runner-up went on to run competitive races and win since.
Over this trip where the pace is likely to be strong, it should allow Barenboim to settle and be snuck into the race from Stall 1 and Danny Tudhope takes the ride. I really like the fact that Danny turns up for this ride, being his sole ride of the night as Danny hasn't been riding for a couple of weeks and Mark Winn could've kept the ride.
Chelmsford City - 1:55 pm
7/2 @ William Hill
Chelmsford City - 3:40 pm
9/4 @ Bet365
Southwell - 6:30 pm