Friday, July 21, 2017

Market Rasen Summer Plate 2017

In the hiatus since the Sandown finale at the end of April I've spent some time recently reading Dorothy Paget: The Eccentric Queen of the Sport of Kings by Graham Sharpe and Declan Colley.

Martin Pipe states 'I wasn't able to put it down.'

Now, I'd suggest it would be unwise to take that comment literally but the book is a jolly interesting read; in parts the authors lead the reader towards particular interpretations of behaviours and events but the research is comprehensive and the bibliography an added bonus.

In the midst of the summer months Market Rasen's Summer Plate acts as a reminder of what we've been missing and also of what we can look forward to in the autumn. Sixteen face the starter for tomorrow's renewal; the going is currently described as good.

Dan Skelton and Jonjo O'Neill have trained recent winners while Peter Bowen has targeted this race for a number of years.

This year the handicap has a lop-sided look to it with Henryville, Days Of Heaven and Alcala set to carry 11-12, 11-11 and 11-7 respectively while the remainder of the field will carry 10-13 or less. No horse has carried 11-7 or more to victory in the past ten years.

On revised terms there appears little to choose between Henryville and Days Of Heaven after the latter beat the former in the Clarke Chase at Uttoxeter eight weeks ago but that fact is certainly not reflected in bookmakers' prices.

Henryville looked unlucky to be brought down at the final flight in last year's renewal but tomorrow he starts off a mark eight pounds higher and Casino Markets is weighted to reverse the placings of April's Cheltenham Silver Trophy Chase.

Alcala's three chase wins have come with six runners or less in the field.

Jonjo O'Neill saddles two - 2014 winner It's A Gimme and I'dliketheoption; owner J P McManus also has the Ben Haslam trained Cup Final in the field. Midnight Shot beat Cup Final a nose in a Hexham novice chase last month when ridden by an amateur claiming seven pounds.

Earthmoves won the Summer Plate Trial over course and distance four weeks ago (Viens Chercher fourth) but he looked in a lot of trouble half a mile from home. Peter Bowen is always respected here but he bought this one out of a Ffos Las Selling Chase - I'm not convinced by the profile.

At the start of the week Poker School was an interesting proposition but I'm afraid the value has long since disappeared.

The Dan Skelton trained Shelford catches the eye near the foot of the handicap but he isn't easy to win with and spent most of last winter racing over much further. That said the race is likely to be run to suit.

2015 winner Brave Spartacus is probably past his best at the age of eleven and I'd be surprised if Wadswick Court proved good enough.

The threat of rain at the track cannot be ignored and that puts me off the bigger weights; in a wide open event, I'll chance Midnight Shot (14/1 generally) will be good enough to make a place. Most layers offer a quarter the odds four places; Sky Bet pay five places at a fifth the odds.


Anonymous said...

The rain looks sure to have got in to the ground at Market Rasen but I’m still waiting for the going stick readings to be updated.

Wadswick Court was the only one my system short-listed. However, this was when James Bowen was declared to ride with a 9lb claim and I see now that Adam Wedge has taken the ride.

I think Shelford is perhaps the most likely winner (the best of his hurdling form suggests the drop back in trip might be a positive?) but odds of 10/1 look a bit cramped.

Midnight Shot has a lot going for it, my reservation is that I’ve been tweaking my system to make greater use of speed ratings and he scores poorly on that front.

A tight affair but I’ll take a chance on Wadswick Court at 20/1 4 places, 1/5 odds with Paddy Power.

Good luck.


GeeDee said...

Perhaps I've been unfairly dismissive about Wadswick Court, TW. He was on my watch list a while back when he was moved from Charlie Longsdon to Neil Mulholland but in that time he didn't really deliver and I lost patience.

Shelford is probably the percentage call but at the moment he's priced up 8/1 joint favourite and the string of seconds behind his name put me off.

Good luck - and with the system modifications too... ;)


GeeDee said...

Midnight Shot (12/1) jumped well enough at the head of affairs with Days Of Heaven but approaching the business end of the race the writing on the wall soon became abundantly clear - his chance was well and truly shot. Swamped at the third last, he came home a well-beaten twelfth.

TW's pick Wadswick Court(20/1) more than proved I'd been unfairly dismissive of his chance by taking up the running three out and looking all over the winner. A slightly ungainly jump at the penultimate flight allowed Alcala (9/1) to throw down his challenge and the Paul Nicholls' inmate held the challenge of the outsider by three quarters of a length with Shelford (5/1f) third and Poker School (7/1) fourth.

An impressive performance from both the winner and the runner-up.

For the avoidance of any doubt, Adam Wedge was the jockey on board Wadswick Court - at certain points in their coverage the ITV team indicated James Bowen was in the plate.