2.40pm Plumpton tips for Monday’s race. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: An interesting race for the amateur jockeys and one that can go to CHEF D’EQUIPE who is owned by his jockey who will have been riding work on the horse to get acquainted ahead of the race, no doubt. His French chasing form looks more than good enough to win this and although he will probably be even better over fences in time, he could well prove far too good for these even with the burden of topweight.
1 CHEF D’EQUIPE – A very decent sort expected to be far better than this after winning and placing over fences in his native France. Bought for £130,000 he has only had the one run for Philip Hobbs when third over this course and distance earlier this month and if he improves at all for his first run in four months he has to be seen as a major player here.
2 MERCERS COURT – Five wins last year, all of them over fences, but has looked a little out of form so far in 2017 with a fall at Fakenham last time out in first time cheekpieces when never really jumping as well as we all know he can. Returns to hurdles where he is much better handicapped but needs to do better and bounce back to his best to get competitive.
3 GUARDS CHAPEL – Not seen in anger since a Lingfield fourth over a year ago which in turn followed a course and distance win here off a handicap mark four ponds lower than he carries today. His jockey claims seven pounds and trainer Gary Moore usually leaves with a winner here at one of his more local tracks and any market moves would be of serious interest.
4 ROTHMAN – Continues to run well without success and yet to win for Chris Gordon after leaving the Paul Nicholls yard in October 2016, a run of nine races and six top three places. He has won off eleven pounds higher over fences and may be better off sent back over the larger obstacles shortly.
5 INVICTA LAKE – Suzy Smith’s ten-year-old won a Grade Three handicap at Sandown off thirteen pounds higher in January 2015 but has been a shadow of his former self since and is hard to make a case for here. Off the track from February 2017 to this October he will have needed it when seventh of eight here over three miles plus and may need another run to put him straight for the season.
6 SANDHURST LAD – Makes his handicap debut here for trainer Warren Greatrex and the sort to improve after just the four starts over hurdles. Last of three at Sandown over this trip and beaten thirty-four lengths at the line and has to do a lot better than that if he wants to take a hand now, even at these weights.
7 ASTRUM – An OK sort if nothing else with a Stratford win in September and a third at Southwell last time out, though both were sellers and nothing to get too excited about. His handicap rating of 102 looks about right less Miss Pinchin’s claim and a place may well beckon for the Philip Middleton trained grey.
8 FLANAGANS FIELD – Returned from close to two years off at Ffos Las with a win in March over two miles and followed that with a second at the same track off the same rating less than two weeks later. A neck second back at Ffos Las off his new rating last week but may well strip a lot fitter now and one to include in any permutations.