It comes as no surprise to see Bobby On The Beat heading the early market following Saturday's handicap success at Lingfield under today's rider, Hollie Doyle, but one who can beat him today is one of the Mick Appleby pair, Expert Opinion.
His two representatives in this event, Expert Opinion and Jupiter Express are both worthy of strong interest because they both arrived at his yard recently.
Appleby has a well-deserved reputation for improving the older horses that he acquires from other yards, particularly all-weather sprinters.
Still a maiden, Jupiter Express has plenty of potential based on his Irish turf form, but Expert Opinion is already proven under these conditions at a higher level than this, and he is a much bigger price in the early market.
14:00 (Chelmsford) Expert Opinion
Expert Opinion nearly got off the mark for Appleby when finishing a close-up third of eleven in a higher-graded Class 5 handicap at this track in November, and significantly, he was heavily-backed from 9/2 to 100/30 favourite in the last few minutes before the start.
He has plenty of speed and was prominent from the inside draw, but he was marginally beaten for finishing speed after hitting the front inside the final furlong.
With Frederick Larson's claim, he is effectively four pounds better off as he drops down into Class 6 and moves up to six furlongs today.
That makes him of very strong interest because the two best performances of his 33-race career have both come over this very trip, the first of which was just over a year ago when he finished second of ten in another higher-graded Class 5 contest in which he ran off a mark of 72 (effectively 11 pounds higher than today).
More recently, he finished second by a neck in yet another Class 5 handicap, which he contested off 70 (nine pounds higher than today).
Clearly, a repeat of either of those higher-graded course and distance runs would make him hard to beat in this basement Class 6 event, in which he runs off a far lower mark.
He showed just two runs ago that Appleby has him in the sort of form to be winning very soon and this will be the first time that Expert Opinion has contested a Class 6 handicap on the all-weather since he won by an easy two and half lengths at this venue as a three-year-old.
His highly consistent record in sprint handicaps at this track shows that he won his sole Class 6 outing around here as well as boasting figures of 22233 from his five higher-graded Class 5 runs at this track, all of them off higher marks than he has today.
- Next best: Bobby On The Beat