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Chelmsford best bet (1930): Bang On The Bell ready to lead from the front over preferred trip

A Thursday night meeting at Chelmsford might not quite hold the appeal of the afternoon’s drama over the jumps at Cheltenham, but nonetheless there’s a few decent races to look forward to.

19:30 Chelmsford: Gold Cup Racing Tips Handicap (5 furlongs)

This five-furlong sprint promises to be one of the best races on the card, with all nine runners holding realistic claims and barely half a dozen betting points separating the favourite from the top-priced outsider.

Just about the early favourite is Mick’s Spirit and that label seems justified after he landed a course-distance win here in October, and turns up seeking a hat-trick after enjoying back-to-back successes over the minimum trip at Lingfield last month

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However, running him close for the favourite tag, and also likely to be his main threat on the track is Bang On The Bell, who landed four wins from 16 runs last year, and has brought that form seamlessly into 2024.

Having won at Lingfield on New Year’s Eve, this five-year-old showed his dislike for being asked to go an extra furlong here next time out a month ago, trailing in a distant last of nine after understandably weakening at the furlong pole.

He was quick to bounce back eight days later, however, relishing the return to his preferred minimum trip and winning with more than three lengths in hand from the nearest of his nine rivals, Gustav Graves, who franked that form by going on to win twice the following week.

He is nicely drawn to control the race with his preferred early pace, and although there might be a question mark over his 10-pound hike, it would be no surprise to see him make a quick return to the winner’s circle under the dependable Clifford Lee.

Suggested best bet: Bang On The Bell in the 19:30 at Chelmsford



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