6.40 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap, 1m
This looks an uncompetitive affair where only a couple have legitimate credentials to go close. I feel Moonlight Venture is one of those, despite a long losing run. He is down to handy weight though and with blinkers fitted could be ready for a big run.
Fantasy Gladiator has been in excellent form all year long, so can’t be discounted. He hasn’t been quite as good in his last two starts but is the sort to bounce back. That says off his current mark he has not much room for error and needs to have everything fall right.
Only once out of the top three in the last ten starts, Shifting Star has to be taken seriously. He won a Windsor when last seen and now back on the the All-Weather is not an inconvenience. Only 2lb higher today he should go close but strike rate on the AW isn’t quite that exciting and he has to be at his very best to win.
Never underestimate a Richard Hannon Runner, so Steal The Scene as the only three year old in the race is an interesting contender. He has only won over the shorter 6f & 7f trips so far and that means he might be vulnerable over this additional furlong today.
No doubt Boonga Roogeta is the horse to beat here in my mind. The mare has had a fine season with two wins here at the Chelmsford All-Weather. She won a class 4 Handicap over 10f against the boys and landed a valuable class 2 Fillies Handicap over 1m in June.
She is best suited to 10f usually, so the trip is sharp enough. However given that she is a CD winner, and the fact that there is plenty of pace expected in this race, it must not be a problem. It is true that Boonga Roogeta likes to make all but she doesn’t necessarily has to. When she won here the last time she was tracking a brisk pace. The same scenario could happen here today.
With the visor back on, a good apprentice in the saddle, and the mare being on a mark 1lb below when she won here in June, I believe she has an absolute prime chance to win this contest.
Boonga Roogeta @ 5/1 Paddy Power – 10pts Win
8.00 Dundalk: 47-75 Handicap, 1m
Plenty of question marks over most runners in this field ad the market reflects exactly that with 10 times maiden Will Excel the 4/1 favourite at the moment. The three year old has been five times placed though and that gives him a prime chance on his handicap debut off a fair mark. The new trip may bring out a bit of improvement as well.
Not a Bad Oul Day has won his last two starts, both over 7f, and hasn’t been seen for roughly half a year. Hard to know what to expect from him off a career highest mark over a trip potentially stretching his stamina.
The only other horse that really makes appeal as a win candidate is Iron Major. The veteran loves Dundalk an won here a similar handicap back in April. He’s 4lb below that winning mark now, although the young apprentice in the saddle who rode him back then and now has lost 3lb of his claim in the meantime.
Nonetheless Iron Major is obviously on a very dangerous mark now and that makes him a prime contender. The question mark is the trip. He’s certainly most effective over 7f and 1m stretches his stamina – but he has winning form over course and distance.
In this poor race I give him a good chance therefore. He certainly will be involved in the finish. If he gets there when it matters, we will find out.
Iron Major @ 6/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win