Through The Card: Chelmsford, Thursday December 22

There is all-weather racing at Chelmsford on Thursday
There is all-weather racing at Chelmsford on Thursday

Timeform take you through the card at Chelmsford on Thursday.

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12:50 - John Gosden holds a strong hand in this two-year-old maiden with his runners filling three of the top four places in the betting. BOIS DE BOULOGNE (3) is probably the pick following an encouraging debut at Wolverhampton last month (sectional eye-catcher), though the application of headgear (cheekpieces) from the outset is always a slight negative, so it may also be worth taking AUBERGE DU LAC (2) as insurance. Naseem is open to improvement, but the fact he's coming back from 10 furlongs and is also drawn wide means he's not as fancied as the other two. Money for expensive newcomer Shamrokh would be significant.

13:20 - The Mick Easterby yard has been in top form for a fair while now, saddling another winner with Roller at Newcastle yesterday, and it can have another with CURZON LINE (5). Curzon Line resumed winning ways in impressive fashion over seven furlongs here last month, value for more than the winning margin after being eased near the finish, and he looks the one to beat again. Inaam deservedly got his head back in front at Newcastle last time and merits respect again, as does the returning Street Duel, who is better on the all-weather than turf. Also, Starboard is well treated on the pick of his form.

13:50 - This is a tricky staying handicap, chiefly because of the fact that it's made up of infrequent winners and maidens. Ryan The Giant ran one of his better races at Newcastle this month, and also did enough to suggest he stays this trip, so he's respected, as is the consistent Yasir, but it could pay to take a punt on handicap debutant MACKIRI (7). Granted, he hasn't shown much so far, but he's bred to be a lot better than a 48-rated performer and hails from the Mick Appleby yard that snapped a cold spell with a treble on Tuesday. The booking of Luke Morris catches the eye, too.

14:20 - An even more competitive affair, a seven-furlong minor event, but still the potential for a good bet in DRAGON MALL (4). It looks significant that David Simcock brings this three-year-old back at this stage in the year following a three-month break, and the gelding has some strong form too, notably when a half-length second to Thikriyaat in a listed race at Newmarket on his return in May and when fourth (unlucky not to finish closer) behind the same rival in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood in July. The drop back to seven furlongs shouldn't pose a problem for Dragon Mall, either. The well-backed Realize and Fanciful Angel are feared most.

14:50 - PLUS NIGHT (5) has gone close in third on all three of his starts for Stuart Williams, perhaps unlucky not to win again over C&D a week ago, and he's taken to gain a deserved victory here. His fellow three-year-old, Kempton winner Medicean El Diablo, isn't a banker to build on that success but is low-mileage, while market support for Star of The Stage on his first start for John Butler (left Julia Feilden) would need noting.

15:20 - This 10-furlong maiden could prove a match between the three-year-old fillies VOGUEATTI (6) and Sea Dweller, with Marco Botti's charge taken to open her account after an eye-catching debut over C&D last month. Avoidable is a half-brother to the top-class Postponed but clearly isn't anywhere near that horse in terms of ability.

15:50 - A wide-open finale, but the booking of George Baker on the well-handicapped WHALEWEIGH STATION looks interesting and he might be worth chancing for all he has a poor strike rate. Understory and Ferryview Place are a couple of others to consider.

Recommendations:

Win back Mackiri in the 13:50
Win back Dragon Mall in the 14:20

Placepot permutation:

12:50 - 2, 3
13:20 - 5
13:50 - 7
14:20 - 4
14:50 - 5
15:20 - 6

2 lines

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