In the 8.15 at Chelmsford on Wednesday, Nearly Caught has run just twice on an artificial surface, winning at Kempton as a three-year-old and failing by just half a length to overhaul Pinzolo in this race last year. Hughie Morrison’s six-year-old has since finished fifth of 34, beaten just 1½ lengths, behind Grumeti in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket and won a conditions stakes race at Pontefract by 10 lengths, so can easily be forgiven his rather lacklustre seasonal debut at Nottingham four weeks ago. He appears versatile with regard to distance so, with the benefit of that run, he may prove too good for Amour De Nuit, who’s favoured by the race conditions, but returns from an absence of 200 days off a 16lb higher mark than when winning at Ayr last September.
Earlier in the evening, in the 7.15, Both Sides finished clear second over a mile on the track on his Polytrack debut in March and, with an extra two furlongs likely to play to his strength, the beautifully bred gelding – by Lawman out of a Nureyev mare – can open his account. He has to concede 5lb to Introductory, but Mark Johnston’s filly was put firmly in her place, at odds-on, by seemingly exposed stable companion Kelvin Hall at Wolverhampton last month and has something to prove on her Polytrack debut.
Selections: Chelmsford 8.15 Nearly Caught, Chelmsford 7.15 Both Sides, 1-point Win Double