Havisham is an interesting runner for Andrew Balding. Picking shortish priced horses in small runner fields is becoming a bit of a habit, but there is method behind the madness. True, small fields can lead to slow paces and falsely run affairs, but there is also less competition and in theory there should be less trouble in running.
The 14f contest at Chelmsford looks like a shoot out on paper between our selection and Emirates Skywards. The latter named makes seasonal reappearance (shouldn’t be an issue with the yard), and comes into the contest with form figures of 222. Not quite enough races for punters to be completely alarmed, but finishing second on a regular basis can set off alarm bells that a horse may not be entirely genuine. On last run over 10f, travelled like a good thing, but as soon as the son of Dubawi came off the bridle, he was beaten. Wears the first time visor and steps up 4f in trip, so question marks with both of those. Does have the best form in the race however.
The bare form of Havisham’s debut effort requires the Mount Nelson colt to step up, as he was beaten by a 69 rated runner. With that being said, it was his debut effort, he was poorly placed in a slowly run contest, and the jockey was not only 2lbs overweight, but also less than vigorous with his effort. Finished to good effect and with that experience under his belt and the step up in trip, should improve plenty. Bet365 are +125 and could see this one favourite by race time.
We were against Hills And Dales last time out, but he looks to have a good chance in a weak looking contest. Was held up in touch on his last run which didn’t appear to suit and in this small field, but has a good chance of establishing an early lead, which seems to suit Charlie Appleby’s runner better. Has a claimer taking off 5lbs which should help, and whilst he is not bombproof and potentially temperamental, the odds of +225 seem attractive.
Main market rival is Oriental Splendour, from the powerful Roger Charlton yard. Team don’t have a fantastic record with their handicap returners at this time of year, and this horse has failed to score despite being well backed on a number of occasions.
Havisham Win – 3.20 Chelmsford – +125 – Bet365
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