Chelmsford preview: Ben Hall handicapped to strike
Ben Hall returned to form when runner-up last time out and can take advantage of a drop in the weights to go one better and land an overdue success in the 6f handicap on this evening’s card at Chelmsford (20.15).
The gelding had some useful form to his name as a juvenile when trained by John Gosden, finishing a cracking 7th of 24 to Extortionist in the listed Windsor Castle over 5f at Royal Ascot and a solid 3 1/4 length sixth of 10 to Saayerr in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.
Ben Hall went on to land a 6f conditions stakes at Lingfield on his first start last year off an official rating of 97, but his form then tailed off badly.
Now in the care of Ruth Carr, the four-year-old is able to race in this off a career-low mark of just 60 having run a blinder seven days ago when second at Wolverhampton.
Ben Hall showed bags of early speed to race at the head of affairs and looked the likely winner when kicking clear around the home turn only to get caught in the dying strides and beaten a neck by Maymo.
It was a huge step back in the right direction, and it’s no surprise to see connections turn Ben Hall out quickly as he is due to race off 5lb higher in future assignments.
That makes the son of Bushranger potentially thrown-in at the weights, and this looks a glorious opportunity for Ben Hall to get back to winning ways.
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has his team in good form, and Cryptonym can provide the Newmarket handler with another success in the 1m 2f handicap (19.15).
The filly has shown improved form in four outings, finishing runner-up twice at Kempton before opening her account in good style over 1m 1f at this venue.
Cryptonym was held-up behind the leaders in the early stages before making smooth headway two from home to take up the running inside the last and quickening clear to put the race to bed.
The daughter of Dansili was heavily eased in the closing stages to score with far more in hand than the 2 3/4 length winning margin suggests, and the third has since gone on to score by five lengths to give the form a boost.
Cryptonym has been allotted and opening handicap mark of 82 on the back of that success, and that looks lenient given her progressive profile.
17.45: Big Sky
18.15: Velvet Revolution
18.45: Chapel Choir
19.15: Cryptonym (NB)
20.15: Ben Hall (NAP)
20.45: Lady Atlas
21.15: Little Indian