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Golden Flame

A tricky three-runner race where John and Thady Gosden’s Pied Piper looks likely to go off favourite. But while Mark Johnston’s Golden Flame has shown his hand more than his two unexposed rivals, he’s revealed himself to be more than capable. He wasn’t stopping over 1m4f when splitting a Godolphin pair on his all-weather debut, and first try at the trip, before breaking his duck at Bath next time. He’s up a bit more in distance, but he’s a half-brother to Saeed Bin Suroor’s Brilliant Light who was placed in a Meydan Group 3 over the trip recently, while his dam also stayed well. The Johnston string are going well too, so he gets the nod.

Sir Hector

Charlie Wallis’ sprinter seldom runs a bad race over the 6f Chelmsford trip with two wins and four places to his name over course and distance. He took advantage of the handicapper dropping his mark when running down regular sparring partner Sir Rodney Redblood here four weeks ago. His rating has been nudged up 3lb for that win, but with Rhys Clutterbuck in the saddle taking off 5lb he’s effectively 3lb better off with the runner-up that day despite beating him ¾l. The spoiler in the race might be Al Asef who looked to appreciate the drop to 6f when beaten a head at Wolverhampton last time, but he’ll have to be on song to stop this course regular.

Happy Romance

This looks a shoot-out between two fillies dropping in class and trip for this 6f Listed contest. Chocoya will no doubt win races this term, but she has her work cut out to match Happy Romance on their 2yo showing. While Richard Hannon’s filly was disappointing in the Fred Darling at Newbury, she was too free on her first run of the season and probably didn’t stay 7f. Back down in trip to a distance over which she was an impressive winner at York before landing Group 3 success at Salisbury, she might prove hard to beat.

Santono Japan

Plenty of these are very solid performers at this level, including the consistent Arij, November Handicap runner-up Rhythmic Intent and Dovecote Hurdle winner Tritonic. However a chance is taken on the potential of Sir Michael Stoute’s Santono Japan. Out of a dual Grade 1 winner, and a half-brother to a Group 2 winner, the 4yo is bred to be decent. He’s only had three runs to date but improved on his final start of 2020 to finish fourth to Dubai Warrior in a Listed contest at Lingfield. The form of that race has been given a couple of boosts since, and with his trainer often doing well with these steadily progressive 4yos, he’s given a tentative nod on handicap debut.

About Chelmsford Racecourse

Chelmsford City Racecourse is Britain’s youngest and provides flat racing. It was developed to tackle the largest unserved market in British Racing. Prior to its existence, there was no racecourse in Essex, East London or Hertfordshire. In fact the closest racecourse, Newmarket, is over 50 miles away.

The anti-clockwise track wraps itself around the grandstand, parade ring, betting ring and restaurants as all facilities are on the inside of the track. Chelmsford is the home to three exciting races, the Cardinal Stakes in April, the Chelmer Fillies’ Stakes and the Queen Charlotte Fillies’ Stakes, which was won last year by the 2018, 1,000 Guineas winner, Billesdon Brook.

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