At Kempton yesterday evening Gifted Dreamer, in what was something of a rough house as they begin to turn out of the back, did show a degree of improvement; and he should come on for running last night. Waqaas declined to settle in the seven furlong Handicap over the first two furlongs and as a consequence didn't get home; we shall look to come back down to six with him.
Both Arlecchino's Arc and Bird to Love run in Chelmsford's ten furlong Handicap; ten furlongs round Chelmsford under David Probert are just about AA's optimum conditions and he invariable runs a good race in Essex; eased a pound he has a competitive chance at the weights and goes back to Chelmsford with at least a prospect of being our first winner of 2020. We run Bird to Love in the same handicap; she is harder to weigh up; after winning so nicely at Kempton at the beginning of November (and then powering home in Newbury's Charity race) her form tailed off a bit; we ran her over a mile here at the beginning of the month recognising that this was probably on the short side for her and she ran a whole lot better making significant progress in the straight as her stamina index came into play; she is back down to just a pound above the mark she won off at Kempton last November and she goes to Chelmsford to outrun her double figure prices under Isobel.
Earlier in the evening we run another of our old friends who like the Essex surface, Marshall Aid; it would pay to draw a line through the modest form he showed last Winter when he was never right and he has blown the cobwebs away in two runs since the turn of the Year, showing some progression in the second of these; this evening's race would not be the best race ever run in Essex and is populated for the most part by some out of form guys and the structure of the race within a narrow band of horses rated 50 and below gives him a really excellent chance at the weights; if he runs to anything like his form of two Winters back it will give him a spiffing chance of being involved close home.