Our resident tipster has his eye on a couple of runners at Chelmsford this evening.
Connections of PERSONAL TOUCH would have been disappointed to see him handed stall nine for this evening’s 6f handicap at Chelmsford, but the in-form six-year-old may well be able to overcome that and he looks well worth a punt at the 8/1 on offer.
The selection was claimed for £10,000 by his current owner Martyn Elvin after winning a 7f claimer at Wolverhampton and, having transferred the horse to the yard of Heather Dalton, he got an immediate return on his investment when the gelding followed up in a 7f handicap at Ayr 15 days ago. That was a real bonus as he was bought with this race in mind, with Elvin saying after his Ayr victory: “We claimed Personal Touch with the view to running him in a 0-90 at Chelmsford later this month as he is one from one at the track.”
The success he’s referring to came over this evening’s distance of 6f, so there are no worries over the drop back in trip, and he is now only 2lb higher in the weights, despite being raised 5lb for his latest win. As mentioned, his wide draw is not ideal and he will do well to take up his customary front-running role. However, it’s not essential he leads and his jockey Sean Corby, who was on board for the Ayr victory and is excellent value for his 5lb claim, will still likely give him a positive ride.
Besides, one of his main rivals according to the betting, Flexible Flyer, has an even wider draw to overcome in stall 13, while the forecast favourite Juncart will exit from stall seven. The latter is the one potential handicap blot in the race, but William Haggas’ runner has not been seen since disappointing on his reappearance in May and apparently has had a few issues since. This is also his first try on the surface, whereas the selection is proven to act on it.
Another horse who has been making the most of his opportunities at the Essex venue is BERTIE BLU BOY and he’s taken to improve his course record to 4-5 when he runs in this evening’s 5f handicap (7.10pm). His latest success came in a higher grade sprint over this trip and he holds the reopposing Desert Strike and Arctic Lynx behind) on that running, with the possibility of better to come over the minimum trip.
The handicapper has of course had his say and the gelding will run off a career-high mark of 81. However, he’s clearly in the form of his life and his jockey Rob Hornby takes a handy 5lb offbeat his back, so another bold bid from the front seems assured from his okay draw in stall six. He’s not even favourite, with that honour going to Excellent George, who is respected, and that makes the case for backing him even more compelling.