Steve Hughes has two picks for an excellent evening card at Chelmsford
There is plenty of good racing action on Friday, none more so than at Chelmsford where there are a host of good handicaps to bet on. I have two selections from the Essex track.
Chelmsford 6.50: Pactolus
A real tough old stick, Pactolus will appreciate a return to the All Weather after a couple of runs on turf where he is simply not as effective.
That said he put in a fine effort to be second at Sandown last time to prove he is in good form. However he is only rated 81 on grass – and until the handicapper relented and dropped him 3lbs for this contest, he was on a mark of 100 on sand.
He was ultra consistent during the winter, highlighted by a win at Wolverhampton in November, whilst he was second on the valuable Lincoln trial at the same track in March. That was the first and only time Milly Naseb has been on board the 7yo and her 5lb claim could prove invaluable today.
Chelmsford 7.20: Verne Castle
A real All Weather specialist, Verne Castle can win for the first time since joining the canny Michael Wigham this season.
A keen sort, I am hoping he will enjoy a strong pace and potentially decent cover from his inside draw. He tried to front run here from a wide draw last time, but those tactics did not really suit. Instead his second place to Tropics here back in June was more his true performance level, as was a narrow fourth here the following week.
I expect this to be fast and frenetic and that should suit this pacy individual who won three times in a row here back in 2016.
0.75pts each-way – Pactolus – 6.50 Chelmsford – 8/1 general
0.75pts each-way – Verne Castle – 7.20 Chelmsford – 7/1 Bet365, BetVictor