A field of eight will make their way to post for the fifth race of the day at Plumpton on Monday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Boher Lad arrives in good form but a 10lb rise makes this a whole different challenge and could be too much for him, so the vote goes to Gary Moore’s YUKON DELTA. He has won here this season over a shorter trip and had been improving nicely over hurdles before a tame effort at Lingfield. The ground however is back in his favour this time and a mark of 97 is far from beyond him if his two hurdling wins are anything to go by. His likely main danger is Landscape who is on a lowly mark and ran well over C&D on his previous start.
1 DRAGOON GUARD – Now zero from ten over hurdles but has gone close on a number of occasions, including his penultimate start when run down towards the finish (1m 7f, Soft). He failed to back that up when well beaten here over a shorter trip in February, though that trip was probably too short for him on that occasion (1m 7f, Heavy). The main concern for him however is the trip, as he’s far from a guaranteed stayer, running out of steam on most of his attempts at trips around the 2m 4f mark. If staying, he’d have a good chance in suitable conditions but others make far more appeal for us.
2 RAY DIAMOND – First hurdle run since 2014 and he comes into it off the back of a disappointing effort at Exeter in January, well beaten in sixth over fences after never seemingly travelling. He was far from disgraced on two previous runs over fences off marks of 102, but more is certainly needed back over hurdles where his mark is 7lb higher. He’s also not assured to see out the distance strongly and others make far more appeal on this occasion.
3 BOHER LAD – Twice a winner over timber this season and ran out a good winner of hiss latest run at Southwell (2m 7f, Good to Soft), but has been smacked with a 10lb hike in the weights as a result. That could certainly be seen as harsh and he’ll need more if he’s to take this, though Stan Sheppard negates half the penalty with his useful claim. He stays this trip well and the conditions are to suit so there is no reason to believe he wont go well again, but may just be found out by this rise in the weights.
4 SAUCYSIOUX – Won a maiden hurdle here back in January 2016 (2m 4f, Heavy) but has been soundly beaten on all four starts since then, tailed off on all of those starts. Connections reach for the headgear but but she makes little to no appeal in this with all those previous starts fresh in the memory. Best left alone and not for us by any stretch of the imagination.
5 YUKON DELTA – Two wins this season including a success here back in October, running on strongly to gun down the leader in the final strides (2m 4f, Good). He won his next start at Fontwell at today’s distance off a 7lb higher mark before going chasing for two runs. Returning to timber, he was well beaten at Lingfield in January but didn’t appreciate the heavy ground and will be much happier now on better ground, dropped 2lb in the handicap after a break. He’s capable of another win for Gary Moore and can take this in good style with Joshua Moore on board to do the steering.
6 LANDSCAPE – Now 32lb below his last winning mark so he’s clearly very dangerously weighted, but that last win did come way back in December 2012. He returned to form on his latest start when second over C&D on his latest start, only beaten around half a length in different conditions to today’s (3m, Heavy). Better ground shouldn’t be an issue but he isn’t a likely one to back up that promise, which does temper enthusiasm. Possible place claims but remains vulnerable for win purposes.
7 BURGESS DREAM – Loves a good slog in the mud and once again prevailed in dire conditions when wining at Lingfield on his penultimate start (2m 7f, Heavy), showing far too much stamina for his opponents. Raised 6lb over the same C&D though he was well beaten last time out the handicapper has only relented 1lb, with these better conditions against him in this. He looks vulnerable and others have more pressing claims.
8 GOODNIGHT CHARLIE – Off the mark under rules at the eighth attempt when winning at Towcester on her latest start (2m 3f, Soft) and has been raised 5lb as a result of the four length success. Judging by her previous efforts off higher marks, this rise may well be enough to stop her from following up, with good ground unlikely to be a help. Bridget Andrews takes off 3lb but others make far more appeal on balance.
9 THEPARTYSOVER – Seems to be regressing at a rapid rate now at the age of twelve and despite finishing sixth of seventeen at Wincanton on his latest start, he was still beaten a reasonable way in a weaker race than this (2m 3f, Heavy). Handicapped has now dropped him to a mark of 78 which on the best of his form gives him a big chance, but he can’t be trusted at present despite that fact. Look elsewhere.