Chelmsford preview: Intrigue appeals on handicap debut
Intrigue can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to open her account in the 1m 2f handicap on this evening’s card at Chelmsford (21.20).
This William Haggas trained filly has had just three starts and posted her best effort in the last of those when fitted with cheekpieces for the first time and keeping on nicely to finish a 12 length third to Sky Cape over 1m at Pontefract without being unduly knocked about.
The winner is a useful sort now rated 85, and the runner-up Onda District has won easily since and is now rated 77.
That gives the form a strong look in the context of this weak class 6 contest, and suggests Intrigue’s opening mark of 57 is very exploitable.
The step up to 1m 2f also looks sure to suit, and Intrigue has clearly been brought along with handicaps in mind, having had three quick runs within the space of a month to get a mark.
Connections are also now swapping the cheekpieces for the blinkers and, if the new headgear has the desired effect, the daughter of Fastnet Rock could make a mockery of her lowly rating.
In the 6f handicap (19.50), Ben Hall can defy a rise in the weights to follow-up his recent victory over course and distance.
The Ruth Carr trained gelding ended a long losing run when showing plenty of pace to race at the head of affairs before being driven out to beat Ryan Style by 1/2 a length off a mark of 60.
Ben Hall has been hit with a 5lb rise for that success, but remains very well-treated on the pick of his back form.
The four-year-old was useful as a juvenile when trained by John Gosden, finishing a cracking 7th of 24 to Extortionist in the listed Windsor Castle Stakes over 5f at Royal Ascot and a solid 3 1/4 length sixth of 10 in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.
Ben Hall went on to land a 6f conditions stakes at Lingfield on his first start last year off an official rating of 97, so his current mark of 65 should certainly not be beyond him.
The son of Bushranger has also bagged a good draw in stall four from which to attack, and with Luke Morris in the saddle is going to be a tough nut to crack.
18.20: The Dukkerer
18.50: Little Indian
19.50: Ben Hall (NB)
20.20: Signed Sealed
21.20: Intrigue (NAP)