The five-furlong Toteswinger Three Ways To Win Handicap (4.00pm), one of two £35,000 handicaps on Polytrack at Chelmsford City on Monday, November 21, has attracted a maximum field of 12, with three horses at the bottom of the handicap unable to get a run.
Those eliminated include the Derek Shaw-trained pair of Dynamo Walt and Top Boy, who have enjoyed six course and distance wins between them.
The weights are headed by the classy performer Sir Maximilian (Ian Williams/George Downing(3), 9st 11lb), Listed Betway Golden Rose Stakes third Kimberella (David Nicholls/Connor Beasley, 9st 6lb), and a Mick Easterby-trained duo of Bowson Fred (Nathan Evans(3), 9st 3lb) and Bosham (Joe Fanning, 9st)), who has won on five of his seven Chelmsford City starts.
The is also a strong challenge from Newmarket-trained horses, including Doctor Sardonicus (David Simcock/Martin Harley, 8st 11lb) and a pair from Robert Cowell’s Bottisham Heath Stud yard, Encore d’Or (Sean Levey, 8st 12lb) and Huntsmans Close (Luke Morris, 8st 9lb).
Doctor Sardonicus, beaten in the last stride in a six-furlong handicap at Chelmsford City on October 26, is drawn widest of all in 12.
Simcock commented today: “It will be very hard from that draw but he loves the surface and has plenty of pace.
“He is probably best over six furlongs rather than five but, with this sort prize money, we are happy to give it a go.
“It will depend on how Doctor Sardonicus breaks, what position he can get and how much luck he has in running.”
Cowell declared: “Encore d’Or has been gelded since he last ran in June – he had just started to get stallion-like rather than racing-like.
“He has been very effective on the All-Weather (won three from five), but he will have to be on the top of his game to win this race.
“He has been working well but has a bad draw (10) and may just need the race after his break. I think he will do well again this winter on the All-Weather if not on Monday.
“We have been getting Huntsmans Close to behave and enjoy himself on his last few runs.
“He would be very well handicapped on his best form and should be spot on.
“Huntsmans Close has only had one run on the All-Weather (Kempton Park, 6f, October 5) when he led for a long way and showed lots of speed.”
The other £35,000 contest on the Chelmsford City card is the Totetrifecta Pick The 1,2,3 Handicap (3.30pm, 14 runners) over a mile.
Solar Deity (Jane Chapple-Hyam/Charlie Bennett(5), 9st 10lb) and Third Time Lucky (Richard Fahey/Tony Hamilton, 9st 9lb) head the weights.
Other runners include hat-trick seeking Fort Bastion (Brian Ellison/Robert Winston, 8st 12lb), unbeaten so far at Chelmsford City, and My Target (Michael Wigham/Connor Beasley, 8st 12lb) who won a competitive handicap at Lingfield Park on November 12.
Last year’s renewal was won by the Roger Varian-trained Mindurownbusiness who went on to finish third in the 2016 All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes on Good Friday.
Chelmsford City’s seven-race card on Monday starts at 1.50pm and finishes at 5.00pm.