Chelmsford City Cup preview: In-form Vale Of Kent fancied under FrankiePublished on: August 30, 2019Author: David Metcalf
Vale Of Kent is right at the top of his game at present and has a fine record on the all-weather, so makes plenty of appeal at 5/1 with Coral in the valuable 7f Chelmsford City Cup on Saturday (19:15).
This four-year-old, who hails from the yard of Mark Johnston, has won twice and been placed once in four starts on artificial surfaces.
He is also a course and distance winner who enjoyed a productive time last year when kept very busy and winning four of his 18 starts.
In the last of those successes at Goodwood, Vale Of Kent scored gamely by a short head off a mark of 95. He backed that up with a good two-length fourth of 20 to Flaming Spear off 100.
Vale Of Kent also ran well on his final start of the campaign when fourth of 16 to Raising Sand in the Challenge Cup at Ascot off the same rating. He has had just six starts this season and looked better than ever.
As Vale Of Kent resumed winning ways in the third of those at Newmarket, when racing at the head of affairs and rallying strongly under Frankie Dettori to land the ultra-competitive Bunbury Cup by half-a-length from Solar Gold, that form in a Heritage Handicap similar to this is a plus.
Super runs at Goodwood and York
The son of Kodiac was then not at his best next time up when 13th of 23 to Raising Sands at Ascot.
Like many from the yard, however, he quickly bounced back and ran a stormer when beaten just a length by the very progressive Beat Le Bon in the Golden Mile Handicap at Glorious Goodwood.
Vale Of Kent also posted another blinding effort last time out at York off 3lb higher when a head second of 18 to What A Story.
After being sent forward from a wide draw by Dettori to quickly take up the running, he battled all the way from the furlong marker before being headed close home.
Vale Of Kent did by far the best of those that raced up with the pace in what was a very strongly run affair. He’s able to race in this off an unchanged rating of 104.
It gives Vale Of Kent, who is due to race off 4lb higher in future assignments, a big chance at the weights of going one better.
So, with Dettori once again in the saddle, he can again defy top-weight and land this Heritage Handicap.
Cenotaph back to defend Chelmsford City Cup crown
Last year’s winner Cenotaph is unbeaten at the track and a fascinating contender on his first start for Simon Crisford. He looks weighted to make a bold bid to retain his crown
This seven-year-old won his first three starts last season here after joining Newmarket handler Jeremsy Noseda from Aidan O’Brien.
In the last of those, Cenotaph came from off the pace under a confident ride from Ryan Moore before quickening up nicely to easily beat Charles Molson by 1 1/4 lengths off a mark of 103 in this contest.
He backed that up with a fine neck second to Mazzini over 6f at Kempton off 108 and also ran a blinder on his first start this year at that venue when beaten a short-head by Keystroke off the same mark.
Cenotaph is now able to race off a reduced rating of 104 – just 1lb higher than when last victorious in this – and that gives the son of War Front a big chance on the pick of his form.
He has also won twice and been placed in four starts over the 7f trip of this and will be well suited by the string end-to-end gallop.
With Moore once again in the plate, and the stable operating at a strike rate of 33 per cent in the last 14 days at the time of writing, Cenotaph looks a key player and can be backed at 6/1 with Boylesports.
Progressive Beauty Filly another with claims
Newmarket handler William Haggas does well with his runners at Chelmsford and saddles a leading contender in the shape of Beauty Filly.
This four-year-old daughter of Invincible Spirit has a progressive profile and has won four of her 11 starts.
After getting bogged down on soft ground when eight of nine in a Listed contest at Longchamp on seasonal reappearance, Beauty Filly was very impressive when landing an eight-runner handicap at Goodwood.
Although she fly-leapt at the start, she then powered home to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths from Mubhij off a mark of 89.
That dominant display earned Beauty Filly as 7lb rise in the weights and saw connections pitch her into Listed company at Chester.
She again reared up at the start, forcing jockey Richard Kingscote to hold her up at the back of the seven-runner field.
Beauty Filly was then switched out to make a move two from home and, after being denied a clear run two from home, quickened up smartly to beat Oh This Is Us by 1 1/4 lengths.
It was a terrific run, given how the race unfolded, and a career-best effort from Beauty Filly who was arguably value for more than the winning margin.
A further 6lb rise in the weights demands more, but she is clearly going the right way and this does represent a drop in class.
Thus, at odds of 7/1 with Betfair, Beauty Filly is another with claims in a typically fierce and wide-open renewal of the Chelmsford City Cup.
Keyser Soze a lively Chelmsford City Cup outsider
Of those at bigger odds, the Richard Spencer trained Keyser Soze appeals each-way now returned to his favoured surface and reunited with Adam Kirby.
This five-year-old has a 60 per cent strike rate on the polytrack, having won three of his five starts and also made the frame on one occasion.
He was in fine form at the start of this season when rattling-up a hat-trick on the all-weather circuit.
In the last of those successes at Newcastle, Keyser Soze quickened up nicely from off the pace under Kirby to beat Gallipoli by three-quarters of a length off a mark of 101.
The son of Arcano scored a shade cosily, so off just 3lb higher does not look weighted out of things.
Keyser Soze has not been at his best in three starts following a break, but the last two of those have come on the turf and the return to this surface is likely to see him in a far better light.
Kirby is also 2-2 from two on him and the stable has been back among the winners of late. So, at 20/1 with Paddy Power, it would be no surprise to see Keyser Soze outrun his odds and hit the frame at least.