Surfing The Sand

Chelmsford City stages a Fast Track Qualifier on Thursday for the Fillies’ and Mares Final, and our All-Weather expert Simon Mapletoft previews the race and the supporting 6f handicap.

  • Tuesday 05 February
  • Blog
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Mick Channon knows what it takes to win the Fillies’ and Mares’ Championship, having triumphed with Volunteer Point in 2016, and he can confirm PATTIE’s place in this season’s line-up with victory in Thursday’s Fast Track Qualifier at Chelmsford City.

She arrives in top form after finishing third to the smart Island Of Life and subsequent winner Castle Hill Cassie in a 7f qualifier at Wolverhampton early in the New Year and gets my vote in the Bet totetrifecta at Fillies’ Conditions Stakes (6.55).

This four-runner contest is weaker and I expect the daughter of Sixties Icon to secure a well deserved success after gaining valuable black type in Listed races in France and in Kempton Park’s Hyde Stakes over this trip already.

Pattie will appreciate the return to 1m, having run on well in the closing stages of that 7f qualifier at Dunstall Park when Thursday’s rival Miss Bar Beach was well adrift.

Top rated is David Barron’s Listed class mare Clon Coulis, who has untapped potential on the All-Weather and returns to action following a productive 2018 on turf.

She won back-to-back Listed races at Ascot and Pontefract in July but lacks match sharpness on her first start since September and must concede a 3lb penalty for those achievements.

Clon Coulis does have track experience, however, having finished a staying on fourth to the useful Carolinae in a 7f Listed Fillies’ race last summer - just before her career really took off.

On all evidence, she will also be better served by this additional furlong but giving weight to race fit rival Pattie on these terms means she will need to be close to her best to qualify for Good Friday at the first attempt.


John Ryan can add to his fine run of form this winter by taking the 6f Celebrate February’s Hero Christine Smith Handicap (7.55) at Chelmsford City on Thursday with MERHOOB.

He posted two solid efforts at Lingfield in December and January and ran as well as could be expected in the face of a tough task in a Fast Track Qualifier at Newcastle last time.

Merhoob is proven on this track, having won over the distance off a 3lb lower mark last September, and can out-point previous course winner Desert Doctor.

Ed Walker’s sprinter has been raised just 3lb for last month’s course and distance win, and champion jockey Luke Morris, who won on Merhoob at Lingfield, seemingly prefers to keep this winning partnership intact.

However, championship leader Adam Kirby is a perfectly adequate deputy on an arguably S tronger finisher in a fascinating sprint puzzle.

Surfing The Sand
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