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Monday 12 November 2018

6.45 Chelmsford, Tuesday, November 13

Despite being by Derby winner Sir Percy out of a Sadler’s Wells mare, and being trained by the most successful trainer in the history of British horse racing, Mark Johnston, Gemologist has shown only limited signs of ability, at least so far. However, the Double Delight Hat-Trick Heaven at Handicap (6.45) at Chelmsford on Tuesday evening is scraping the bottom of the barrel, in terms of quality, so, with the step up to 1 mile 5 furlongs and 66 yards seeming in her favour, the filly may yet be seen in better light.

She returns from a 215-day break and her two previous efforts at the Essex track, albeit over 1 mile 2 furlongs, were moderate at best. On the most recent occasion, in March, she finished sixth of eight, beaten 8¼ lengths, after finding no extra in the closing stages, but that was in a 0-65 affair, off a handicap mark of 62. Notwithstanding the step up in distance, here she contests a lowly 0-50 handicap, off a handicap mark fully 12lb lower, so it would be no real surprise if she showed improved form on her return to action.

Indeed, apprentice Andrew Breslin takes off another 5lb, so I suspect that – despite her illustrious pedigree – without a forward showing in the company, her days at Middleham Moor may be limited. Let’s hope, for all concerned, that she turns out to be the proverbial “diamond in the rough”.

Selection: Chelmsford 6.45 Gemologist to win


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