A tight eight runner handicap chase for the penultimate race at Plumpton on Monday. A number of horses return from breaks of varying lengths, including our tip, hoping to start the 2016/2017 season with success.
IN SUMMARY: Our tip Gores Island is one of two runners for the Moores, with Joshua Moore booked to ride. This ten year old carries joint top weight on his return from his summer break, but has slid down the weights and can bounce back here off a very reasonable mark. Was far from disgraced over hurdles on his last two runs and both course and distance should suit.
1 Gores Island – One of Gary Moore’s two runners. Previously rated as much as 17lb higher, his mark has fallen steadily, in part due to running in tougher company. Last two races were over hurdles where he found himself outpaced over shorter trips, running well to finish 3rd over 2m 3f at Taunton on his penultimate start. Hasn’t won in 12 races but is 7lb lower than when winning that day and switch back to the larger obstacles combined with the step back up in trip should help. In a race where many others look sure to want further later in the season, he’s previously run well fresh and will have an excellent chance today.
2 Tothemoonandback – The other of Gary Moore’s two runners, not seen since winning at Newbury way back in March 2015 (599 days ago) over 3m 2f. Won that as he liked and had largely been progressive before that. Runs off a 7lb higher mark and drop back in trip not certain to suit – could be this is more of a fact finding mission but worth watching in the betting.
3 Minella On Line – The overnight favourite, hasn’t run over this short a trip for a long while (17 starts, December 2013). Was rated as high as 135 following a good run behind Sausalito Sunrise but was pulled up for 5 races in a row at the end of 2014/start of 2015. Inconsistent and has shown his best running on Soft ground, not one to back at a short price.
4 Comeonginger – Last seen in June when finishing 2nd off a one pound higher mark, he was sent off 5/2 favourite that day but finished 16 lengths behind the easy winner. Conditions will suit nicely but he hasn’t won since February 2015 and has been well beaten off similar marks last season, suggesting the handicapper has him about right.
5 Days Ahead – Pulled up on his reapperaance from a year off at Kempton last month when seeming to find things tough going a long way from home. Won three starts ago off a mark two pounds lower and would be well handicapped on that, and overall has a decent strike rate – 9 wins from 55 starts under both codes. Difficult to back following his last run though, but one to watch for the future.
6 Like Sully – Won two starts ago over Course & Distance on Good ground in May off a mark just three pounds lower. Trainer Richard Rowe has plenty of runners here but just a 9% strike rate for a -£25 level stakes profit. This looks one of his more likely types, but Like Sully was poor last time out when beaten 91 lengths and steps out of Novice company for the first time.
7 Venetian Lad – One of few horses in this field who have already had a run back from their summer break, but ran poorly last month at Fontwell over 2m 5f finishing a distant sixth. He’s a previous C&D winner but was well beaten in this same race last year (sent off 16/1) and nearly all of his wins have come between April and June rather than in the winter.
8 Itoldyou – Another who was pulled up when last season, that was in the Sussex National over 3m 2f in testing conditions. The handicapper has been lenient and dropped him 8lb for that, but he was well beaten on every start last season (his best run saw him finish 34 lengths back in 4th in a race whose form hasn’t worked out very well) and tough to bounce back here over a much shorter trip.