Stradivarius form on show as Bowerman returns to the track for Roger Varian
Varian has the Bower
Punters have waited more than six months for the reappearance of Bowerman (7.00) at Chelmsford on Thursday and he could be worth the wait off a mark of 87, despite some stiff senior opposition.
His easy win in a mile Kempton maiden at odds of 1-3 in April did not look significant at the time, but the recent exploits of Ply, runner-up that day, have given it a very strong complexion.
Ply was one of the stars of the autumn season at Kempton in racking up a quick-fire hat-trick, a run of success that pushed his handicap mark up to 96 and resulted in a sale to race on in Dubai in the colours of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.
Before that victory, Bowerman had run into subsequent Group 1 winner Stradivarius on his sole two-year-old start and is now ready to make up for lost time after some smart work on the Newmarket gallops.
Jockey Jack Mitchell said: "I rode him first time out when he got beat by Stradivarius. He then won his maiden convincingly and had some time off, but I believe he's working nicely so hopefully should run a nice race."
Class 7 heaven – for some
There are not that many Class 7 races around in Britain any more but even fewer with an Irish-trained runner in them, like the finale on the eight-runner card at Chelmsford (9.00).
While many courses have ditched these basement events for horses rated 45-50, the Essex track still has a sprinkling throughout the year, and Thursday's has obviously caught the eye of County Roscommon trainer Adrian Joyce, who has sent over Mercury for the 6f handicap.
Unlike some in the field, the five-year-old won four races in his younger days with Kevin Ryan.
Andy Waitt, clerk of the course at Chelmsford, said: "We've had Irish runners here before but never in a Class 7 race and I think Adrian is also bringing one over to race here on Friday night as well.
"It's a policy of ours to stage Class 7 races and put decent prize-money on to reward those who are working at the lower end. We had lots of declarations for the race and would have liked to have split it, but we weren't able to."
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