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Chelmsford and Thirsk previews: Swagger set to turn on the style

| 15.08.2016

David Metcalf | August 15, 2016

Mitchum Swagger can collect at Chelmsford

Mitchum Swagger ran a stormer last time out and looks the answer to the 7f conditions’ contest on today’s card at Chelmsford (15.30).

The David Lanigan trained gelding looked a good prospect when making a winning debut in a 20-runner maiden at Newbury, coming from off the pace and showing a smart turn of foot to get up and score by a neck.

Mitchum Swagger was allotted an opening handicap mark of 87 on the back of that success, and made a mockery of it when scoring at Haydock.

The four-year-old was then just denied in a competitive affair at the same venue, before rounding off the campaign with a fine neck second in a Listed contest at Newmarket.

Cracking effort at Royal Ascot

Judge on those performances Mitchum Swagger looked one to keep onside this season and although well-beaten on his return to action in a Listed contest at Leicester the son of Paco Boy confirmed that view when a fine third of 28 in the ultra-competitive Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot when last seen in action.

Race horse trainer DAVID LANIGAN. Copyright Martin Lynch.

Mitchum Swagger was still last with three furlong to go but flew home despite not getting the clearest of passages to be gaining at the finish and beaten just 1 1/2 lengths.

The form of that race is strong and this looks a nice opening for him to get back on the scoresheet.

Intercepted appeals on handicap debut

Lanigan also looks to hold leading claims of landing the 1m 2f handicap earlier on the card (15.00) with unexposed Intercepted.

The colt has shaped with plenty of promise in three quick maiden runs, most notably when staying on in eye-catching fashion under tender handling to finish a never nearer eight length fourth to the now 85-rated Fashion Parade at Brighton two starts back.

Intercepted then travelled well for a long way last time out in a 1m 4f contest at Ffos Las before weakening out of contention two from home and the drop back in trip looks sure to suit.

The three-year-old looks to have clearly been brought along with handicaps in mind and an opening mark of 70 could well be on the lenient side.

Intercepted is certainly bred to be far better than it and this is a weak class 5 contest that won’t take much winning.

Chelmsford selections

14.00: Believable
14.30: Red Invader
15.00: Intercepted (NB)
15.30: Mitchum Swagger (NAP)
16.00: Racing Knight
16.30: Vale Of Flight
17.00: Sacred Harp

Silvanus weighted to strike at Thirsk

Silvanus looks decent value to take advantage of a drop in the weights and ease in grade to land the 5f handicap on today’s card at Thirsk (15.45).

The 11-year-old has been a terrific servant over the years and has 15 career successes to his name.

In the last of those victories 12 months ago, Silvanus kept on strongly to beat Lexington Place by a length in a class 3 contest at Ripon off a mark of 94.

The Paul Midgley trained veteran has also posted some solid efforts to make the frame this season, including when third in a class 2 contest over course and distance off 95.

Silvanus is now able to race off a reduced rating of just 85 and now drops down into class 4 company for the first time in over two years.

It gives the gelding major claims from a handicapping perspective and another plus is that the yard does particularly well with its sprinters.

Chester Day 1

In-form High On Light can shine again

High On Light is in terrific form at present and can defy a rise in the weights to land the hat-trick in the 1m 4f handicap (16.45).

The Tim Easterby trained filly bolted up by five lengths over course and distance and then defied a 6lb penalty to follow-up in good style by 3/4 of a length at Musselburgh.

High On Light stayed on strongly in the latter to beat Neuf Des Coeurs with more in hand than the winning margin suggests and the runner-up has since come out and beaten a thriving sort to give the form a solid look.

The handicapper has reacted by putting the three-year-old up another 6lb to a career-high mark of 65, but that may not be enough to stop High On Light going in again as she looks the type who may have even more to offer.

High On Light also has the services of Rachel Richardson in the saddle who has partnered her to her last two successes and is terrific value for her 3lb claim.

Thirsk selections

14.15: Prazeres
14.45: Silent Assassin
15.15: Pickett’s Charge
15.45: Silvanus (NAP)
16.15: Manshood
16.45: High On Light (NB)
17.15: Trinity Star
17.45: Gaelic Wizard


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.