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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Moore bids to improve excellent Chelmsford record with six decent chances

Blue Mist (Kieran Shoemark, pink cap) makes Military Law work hard at Newbury last October
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Ryan Moore is in for a busy afternoon at Chelmsford, which shames the other three tracks staging racing by offering almost £100,000 in prize-money.

Moore operates at an extraordinary 39 per cent strike-rate at Chelmsford, with 50 winners from just 128 rides, a rate he surpasses only at Carlisle (one from one) and Ffos Las (three from six).

What makes his record at the track all the more remarkable is that his rides there show a level-stakes return of +£60.52, an unusually high level of profit for a top-tier rider at any track, and a particularly good one for somewhere like Chelmsford, where one might anticipate that mounts for mainly fashionable Newmarket stables might be overbet.

Moore teams up with Roger Charlton to ride the Khalid Abdullah-owned Blue Mist in the feature Irish Lotto At Handicap (3.30), with the son of Makfi facing four rivals on his return from 265 days off the track.

Charlton said: "He's fine. He wasn't ready earlier and ideally I wanted good to soft ground, but we are fed up with waiting for it. He's won on the all-weather before and I think it should suit him."

Moore's other rides include two for William Haggas. He partners the twice runner-up Seductive in the opening 7f median auction maiden (2.00), and the penalised six-length Newbury winner Alexanderthegreat in the 1m6f handicap (5.00).

Whereas Moore has six Chelmsford rides, Frankie Dettori is at the track solely to ride Wissahickon in the 1m2f handicap (3.30) for John Gosden.

Wissahickon looked highly progressive when beating Baringer at York in June but was a big disappointment when a hot favourite at Newmarket's July meeting.

Sprint specialist Cowell's double chance 

Robert Cowell seldom gets to use Ryan Moore, but the pair combined for a good win with Encore d'Or over five furlongs at Lingfield in March and team up again when Cowboy Soldier takes on five rivals – including stablemate Grandfather Tom – in the Double Delight Hat-Trick Heaven At Handicap (4.30).

Cowboy Soldier has already won at Newcastle and Windsor this year and ran another good race when third at Goodwood last time, when he started favourite for a hot affair but was arguably compromised by being forced to begin his challenge from well wide of the two principals.

Blue De Vega (left): bids to follow up his 5f win at Ascot at Nottingham

Cowell has another decent chance on Nottingham's evening card when Blue De Vega, reinvented this year as a sprinter and successful over five furlongs at Ascot last month, bids to follow up over the same distance in the British Stallion Studs EBF Conditions Stakes (7.05).

The stable has won this race three times in the last decade, including with veteran Kingsgate Native in 2016, but the Paul Midgley-trained hat-trick seeking Tarboosh is the pick of the weights in receipt of 4lb and might prove hard to beat.

Softish ground the presumed attraction

A rare opportunity to race on softish ground is presumably what has drawn runners from some of the nation's top stables to Ffos Las, among them Roger Varian.

Varian does not now run debutant Three Comets, from the first crop of German Derby winner Sea The Moon, in the novice but hopes Sharja Silk has the right sort of profile for the feature Get Daily Tips For Free On Handicap (4.45).

Sharja Silk and fellow Newmarket traveller Roystonia both receive a handy 11lb weight-for-age allowance from their rivals and, while neither is proven on the ground, they remain unexposed.

Varian said: "I can't be sure Sharja Silk wants it soft, but it was too fast at Doncaster last time and I hope he handles it. He's a late-maturing horse with a progressive profile for this type of race, and although he's still a maiden I've always liked him."

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Ideally I wanted good to soft ground, but we are fed up with waiting for it. He's won on the all-weather before and I think it should suit him
E.W. Terms
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