Loumarin showed signs of improvement when third at Nottingham last month and all three career wins have come over todays trip. A 3lbs drop in the weights means she is now 6lbs lower than her last winning mark and although her last win came on the all-weather that was in a higher class than today. Furthermore, trainer Michael Appleby has a decent record at the North Yorkshire course with a winning strike rate of almost 20% here in the last twelve months.
Early favourite Compton River has placed on four occasions from five over course and distance and finally got his nose in front at the twenty fifth time of asking at Bath last month, for which he has been raised just 2lbs. He will likely be in the mix again with a similar run but doesn’t look the most likely to double his winning tally so is passed over here.
Under Approval is another who arrives on the back of a win last time out and has a course and distance win to his name but has been raised 3lbs to a mark that he has struggled from in the past, while Lizzy’s Dream was fifth behind Under Approval but hit trouble in running and would have likely laid challenge to the winner with a clear run and looks capable of reversing those placings here.
Loumarin (E/W if 9/2+)
Strong Steps is a multiple winner here at Chelmsford, having won two from three over course and distance. He finished ahead of Mustaaqeem in a class two handicap in May and has finished ahead of subsequent winners in a couple of recent races on turf before returning to Chelmsford to record a win last time out, beating another who re-opposes here by way of Firmament. He has been raised 3lbs for that effort but won well despite the official distance only being a neck so should remain competitive at a track that he obviously handles well.
Ice Royal has placed on all four previous visits here and has made the frame in five out of six races over a mile. A winner at Sandown last time out, he has been raised 3lbs but keeps in-form Jamie Spencer in the saddle and with the yard posting a 27% winning strike rate over the last two weeks he is feared most.
Fuwairt is another who won last time out, on his first run here at Chelmsford. That was his first win in two years and today sees a step up in trip but he has been running well against some tough opposition so has to be considered.
Strong Steps (WIN)
Just the five runners are scheduled to go to post in this class 3 handicap over ten furlongs, yet all five have to be considered in an intriguingly competitive race. The early favourite is The Begum who showed vast improvement to return a ten length winner at Ayr last time out. If taking to this likely faster surface a similar run here would see her emerge victorious again, however she is up against tougher opponents here and her effectiveness on the surface is unknown so she is passed over today.
Outsider Age Of Elegance has made the frame in 50% of all runs on the all-weather and although has just one win from sixteen while Della Valle won when last seen although that was on soft ground and she has been upped 6lbs for her troubles and is another yet to race on the all-weather.
Haddajah won over todays trip at Lingfield on penultimate run before finishing tailed off at Newmarket last time out, although that was on heavy ground so she should be much more at home on todays surface. The level of opposition looks stronger than the maiden she won at Lingfield but she is feared nonetheless.
Preference is for Mighty Lady who was a 50/1 winner over course and distance on racecourse debut and has made the frame in four of five career runs so far. She was beaten by Toga Tiger who took advantage of a drop in the weights but was four lengths clear of a last time out winner in Lord Franklin and based on that run could prove tough to beat providing this doesn’t come too soon.
Mighty Lady (WIN)