Summer Plate Chase Trends

Exeter Racecourse

Market Rasen racecourse stages their biggest afternoon on the calendar this Saturday (21st July 2018) as it’s Summer Plate Day at the Lincolnshire track.

The ITV cameras will be heading to the course to take in their two feature contests – the Summer Hurdle and Summer Plate – and with over £20,000 on offer for each race then it’s no surprise we’ve some big National Hunt yards in action.

Both are decent contests but it’s the Summer Plate we’re going to look at from a trends angle. Run over a trip of two miles five and a half furlongs, the 188Bet-sponsored event is a Class One handicap chase that has seen six winning favourites in the last sixteen renewals.

Use our Summer Plate Tips and trends to help narrow down the runners and find the best profiles of past winners of the race.

Twelve months ago, we saw the Paul Nicholls-trained Alcala win the prize at 9/1 and this seven year-old is set to run again. It’s also contest that Paul’s former assistant trainer – Dan Skelton – has targeted with success in recent years (2016), plus also note any Peter Bowen-trained runners as the Welsh-based stable have won this pot a staggering five-times since 1997. In terms of jockeys to look for then leading jumps pilot – Sam Twiston-Davies – has an excellent recent record in the race – steering home the winners in 2013 and 2017.

There are always many trends to apply to each race but to keep things simple we’ve picked out four standout stats and applied these to the main 2018 Summer Plate runners. We hope they help you find the winner!

• 8 of the last 10 winners were aged between seven and nine years-old
• 11 of the last 16 winners carried 10-13 or less in weight
• 10 of the last 16 winners had run at Market Rasen before
• 10 of the last 16 winners finished first or second last time out

Trends – Key Runners

Alcala ✅❌✅✅

Bagad Bihoue ✅❌❌✅

Days Of Heaven ✅❌✅❌

Calett Mad ❌❌❌✅

Viconte Du Noyer ✅❌❌❌

Sumkindofking ✅✅✅✅

More Buck’s ✅✅✅✅

Shantou Village ✅❌❌❌

Too Many Diamonds ✅✅✅✅

Trends Analysis:

The Paul Nicholls-trained Alcala will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner of the Summer Plate but being the current champion commands a lot of respect. He also ticks three of our four main trends, with the weight-carried looking to be his only negative. Having said that, he’s rated only a pound higher than twelve months ago when beating the Peter Bowen-trained Wandsworth Court, who could line-up again, by just under a length. He bucked the weight stat last year after winning with 11st7lbs so the fact he’s kicked that trend into touch in the past suggests that even with 11st12lbs this time he’s got every chance. Sam Twiston-Davies rides again and he’ll be eying his third win in the race since 2013, while Alcala will be hoping to become the first horse to win with this kind of burden since Stately Home was victorious carrying 12st.

Nicholls could also run Bagad Bihoue, who is owned by the same connections as Alcala, so if both line-up these owners would certainly have a strong hand. This seven year-old actually beat Alcala last time out at Newton Abbot by three and a half lengths, with another possible runner – Viconte Du Noyer – a nose back in third. However, Bagad Bihoue was receiving ten pounds that day but there is only a six pound difference this time to suggest there won’t be much between them here. Twiston-Davies rode him last time so the fact he’s decided to get off his back in favour of last year’s winner could also be significant, plus – looking at the four main trends – he falls down on weight (11st 6lbs) and has also never raced here at Market Rasen.

Days Of Heaven will be popular with punters when they see the names Henderson and de Boinville attached to this eight year-old, while his loyal fans might recall him finishing seventh in this race twelve months ago. He was just under fourteen lengths off the winner last year but on a plus is officially rated six pounds lower this time so can be expected to have a much better chance. The Henderson yard are always respected here too with a 27% strike-rate at the track with their chasers. The trends, however, see him fall down on weight (11st 9lbs) and also recent form, as he was last seen being pulled-up behind Bagad Bihoue and Alcala at Newton Abbot in the middle of June. Looking at the last run, his supporters will look to the fact he was sent off favourite there and was also still in with a shout until blundering badly at the ninth fence. With that in mind, he’s does have a few excuses if punters are looking at giving him a second chance.

Calett Mad will be hoping to give trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies his second winner in the race after they took the prize in 2010. He’s a fast-improving six year-old that has won two of his seven starts over fences. We last saw him winning easily by thirty-one lengths up at Perth over hurdles but it’s worth noting that victory came on soft ground. He’s won on a good surface in the past but it’s also worth pointing out his last run over fences was back in April 2017. Therefore, it remains to be seen if he’s sharp enough over the bigger obstacles after such a lay-off. The trends suggest he’s got a bit to find too as being a six year-old has the age stat as a negative, as well as weight (11st 7lbs) and also having never raced at Market Rasen – he falls down on three of the four.

Viconte Du Noyer is closely-matched with a lot of these after running third behind Bagad Bihoue and Alcala at Newton Abbot around four weeks ago. This nine-year-old was just over three and a half lengths off the winner that day and gets in here with the same rating (141) and meets last year’s winner of this race on the exact same terms as that most-recent clash. Trained by the powerful Colin Tizzard yard, who are yet to win this race, but the main concern would be that he falls down on three of the four stats – with only his age (nine) being a positive. He’s also a horse that has won just three times from twenty-one starts over fences and is now twelve races without getting his head in front over both codes.

Sumkindofking is yet to finish outside the places from his three runs over fences and comes here off the back of a nice win over this course and distance in June. A four-pound rise for that success looks fair but with proven winning form at the track this seven year-old seems to have a lot going for him. He’s unexposed over fences so that can be taken either way – there could be more to come, but will his lack of experience, in a competitive race like this, be found out? He does, however, tick ALL four of the main trends and even though he’s up in grade this time that means he gets in with only 10st 6lbs to carry in weight and that would be a huge plus in hot conditions. Oh, and the Tom George yard boast an impressive 38% (6 from 16) record with their chasers at the course.

The Peter Bowen yard have a fantastic record in this race – winning it five times since 1997. Okay, the last of those came back in 2008 with a horse called Snoopy Loopy but they did have the runner-up twelve months ago with Wandsworth Court, who can’t be ruled out again despite rated ten pounds higher this time. They’ve also got More Buck’s in the race and this eight year-old looks to have plenty going for him. He went into many a notebook recently with an easy eighteen-length win up at Perth, on what was his first run for the yard. He was formerly with Paul Nicholls but made an instant impact for his new yard and is another in the race that gets ticks for ALL four trends. He’s up eight pounds for that last win but that looks fair considering the ease in which he won, but in this higher grade is another that gets in with a very lightweight (10st 5lbs).

The Neil Mulholland camp have their horses in decent order at the moment, so their Shantou Village is another to consider. He’s won four time from nine starts over fences but the last of those came over a year ago now. As a result, he’s slipped down the handicap and is now rated seven pounds lower than when last winning. Based on that then he’s certainly capable in a race like this and seems to act well on a quick surface. This eight year-old does tick the key age trend too, but unfortunately gets three crosses on recent form (fourth), weight (11st 3lbs) and having never raced at Market Rasen.

The final horse to note is the Dan Skelton-trained Too Many Diamonds. The yard is firing in the winners all over the place at the moment and, don’t forget, they also won this in 2016. They also boast a decent 27% record with their runners over fences at the track and this seven year-old gets a thumbs-up for ALL four of our trends. He’s won his last three so summer jumping fans will be familiar with his name, plus has run at the course before – albeit over hurdles. A nine-pound hike in the official ratings makes life harder for him and the races he’s been winning recently are of a lot lesser class. Having said that, he’s been getting the job done with big weights on his back (12st and 12st 3lbs) so in this better race he’ll only have 10st to carry and that will feel like a featherweight based on what he’s been lumping to victory.


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