Moore retains link with improving Cenotaph in new £100,000 contest
Betfred Chelmsford City Cup Handicap | 7f | 3yo + | ATR
Few horses improve after leaving Aidan O'Brien, but that is precisely what Cenotaph has done in two starts since joining Jeremy Noseda.
He's won both those races at Chelmsford, bolting up by five lengths over six furlongs on his latest start in July, and returns to the track off a career-high mark of 103 with Ryan Moore – an impressive five from nine when teaming up with Noseda this season – maintaining the partnership in this £100,000 handicap, the first six-figure prize Chelmsford has staged.
Clearly suited by the demands of the all-weather, Cenotaph steps up to seven furlongs and looks to have a big chance.
Masham returns off same mark
Mark Johnston fires three bullets at the race, including Masham Star, who won the first running of the contest last year.
Useful apprentice Ollie Stammers takes a handy 7lb off his back and assistant trainer Charlie Johnston said: "He didn't get a great trip at Goodwood on his last start as he was short of room at a crucial stage, but he's back to defend his crown and conditions looks ideal for him."
The Middleham team also run Rufus King and Vale Of Kent, who are in good form according to Johnston, who added: "Rufus King won over a mile at Chelmsford on his last run but the drop back to seven furlongs won't inconvenience him.
"He looked as if the tank was emptying quickly there. He's gone up in the weights but should be well suited by the race conditions.
"Vale Of Kent won and finished second at Glorious Goodwood previously and won his maiden over course and distance. It's a tough race, as it should be for the prize-money on offer, but we've three live chances with each horse well drawn."
Haggas chances two
William Haggas has been in fine form of late, with the victory of Sea Of Class in last week's Yorkshire Oaks the highlight, and he runs two in a bid to scoop another nice pot.
The Newmarket trainer's record with older horses on the all-weather this season is exceptional – he's had nine winners from 22 runners for a 41 per cent strike-rate.
Mubtasim's recent form figures don't inspire confidence but, with a slight drop in the weights and James Doyle on board, a return to form could be imminent.
Haggas also runs the hat-trick-seeking Mankib, and he said of the pair: "They're both drawn wide. They're in good form but we'll need a bit of luck from there. They don't usually win wide there in a competitive race."
What they say
Dean Ivory, trainer of Lucymai
She loves it around Chelmsford. With the change of jockey she technically carries 8lb extra, but she's very progressive and we're expecting a big run. We'll see if she's good enough.
James Fanshawe, trainer of Mazzini
He's not ideally drawn in 12 but certainly likes it at Chelmsford. He seems in good form at home and we're happy for him to take his chance.
George Scott, trainer of Gilgamesh
We've been drawn out in the car park, which makes life difficult. We've no choice but to drop in so we'll need plenty of luck. He's been a bit out of form recently but should still be competitive in a race of this nature.
Charlie Fellowes, trainer of Carolinae
It looks a tough race. Every time we back her up quickly she tends to disappoint but we're well drawn in stall two. Many of the fancied runners are drawn wide and she's won over course and distance, and an all-weather surface is important to our filly.
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