Thursday, July 09, 2020

Market Rasen Summer Plate 2020

For longer than I freely care to admit, I've organised my life according to the austere regimen dictated by the racing calendar; at present I'm experiencing unprecedented levels of disorder, disarray and confusion. 

In normal circumstances Market Rasen's Summer Plate meeting is run on a Saturday in the middle of July and marks the mid-point of the summer jumps programme. This year the meeting goes ahead behind closed doors on Friday, with jump racing having emerged from lockdown barely 10 days ago. 

Of course, we're pleased to see racing over the jumps once again but the elephant in the paddock remains - when will paying punters be allowed to return to the track?

Earlier this week the Anglo-Irish jump classification ratings were published. Sharjah, second behind mare Epatante in the Champion Hurdle, tops the hurdlers' listing while Al Boum Photo and Cyrname share top spot in the chasers' listing.

Since resumption on July 1st, trainers who have recorded more than one NH winner and caught the eye include:

Olly Murphy (5/14) 35.7%
Emma Lavelle (4/7) 57.1% 
Paul Nicholls (3/11) 27.2%
Michael Scudamore (2/3) 66.6%
Ben Pauling (2/4) 50%
Evan Williams (2/9) 22.2%

ITV4 are scheduled to broadcast both the Summer Hurdle at 2.05 and the Summer Plate at 2.40.

With 17 declared, and not an awful lot of recent form to go on, this year's Summer Plate looks particularly difficult. The going is currently described as good, good to soft in places.

Lough Derg Spirit, pulled up behind A Plus Tard in the 2019 Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase at the Festival off a mark of 142, is vying for favouritism. Previously with Nicky Henderson and now trained by arch-rival Paul Nicholls, he races off 137 tomorrow sporting a first-time tongue-tie, having undergone wind surgery some nine months ago. Recent rain may not have helped his cause but stablemate San Benedeto has helped by keeping the weights down. 

These days it's difficult to know whether to describe Alan King as a jumps trainer who has runners on the Flat over the summer or a Flat trainer who has runners over the sticks in the winter. Whichever description you prefer, Mr King sent out sent out three winners and a second from just five runners at Royal Ascot three weeks ago. The handler saddles two here: Fidux was given a spin on the all-weather at Wolverhampton last month while Potterman made hay chasing last summer, culminating in a creditable fifth behind Vinndication in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot in November. Of the pair I prefer Potterman. 

Bags Groove is a talented individual I have plenty of time for and he appears to have been well supported this evening but the gelding hasn't been seen since finishing behind Kalashnikov at Aintree back in 2019.

In atypically prescient form I flagged up the chances of mare Casablanca Mix and Royal Village for last year's renewal, eventually opting to back the latter each-way; in the event the former beat the latter a comfortable eight lengths. 

Royal Village tries again tomorrow but current stable form is a concern and Copper West had this one and San Benedeto behind over course and distance in October. Two out Ian Williams' charge looked all over the winner that day but he was relegated to third on the run-in which is off-putting; he is weighted to reverse placings with Copper West.

The trends don't favour the chances of mare Really Super; I think last year's winner Casablanca Mix was the first mare to collect the spoils while the last six-year-old to oblige was the Peter Bowen trained Iron Man in 2007. 

Of the bigger priced runners the front-running Imperial Presence is of most interest on the back of his fifth behind the ill-fated Warthog in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham last December. 

Adrrastos ran well for a long way in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot before finishing fifth behind Who Dares Wins. That day I thought Jamie Snowden's charge didn't quite see out the trip and, on balance, the formbook confirms the suspicion so, in a race where for the most part fitness has to be taken on trust and in which ordinarily I prefer a younger horse, I'm going to place a small each-way wager on previous course and distance winner Copper West. 

A hold-up ride, he wouldn't appear the best handicapped beast in the field, going up four pounds after being pipped by One Style at Ludlow in February. Still, Tom George's charge has run well after a break in the past and is generally priced up a 14/1 chance, with most layers offering one fifth the odds five places.

Copper West is the each-way suggestion.


Anonymous said...

My life also runs to the rhythm of the racing calendar; the resumption of the flat season on the 1st June was a positive sign, Jump racing on 1st July another and now your blog has a fresh post though no doubt it will be a while before the next!

My system finds one or more reasons to reject all the runners in the Summer Plate but best of luck with Copper West.

In the Summer Handicap Hurdle only Alan King’s Dino Velvet manages to tick all the system boxes and I am tempted but would need his price to drift out a bit from the current 6/1.

Good health


GeeDee said...

Good to hear from you again, TW. Trust you're keeping well.
I'll keep an eye on Dino Velvet...

Anonymous said...



GeeDee said...

Trends indeed, TW!
Top marks to Rob Wright who tipped Really Super in The Times.

GeeDee said...

Neither the trends nor the market highlighted Really Super's chance but the six-year-old mare, sent off at 25/1, proved herself very well-named and could be called the winner some way from home. Forging two lengths clear coming to the penultimate flight, she wasn't for catching and came home five and a half lengths ahead of Fidux (14/1) with Solomon Grey (7/1) a further three lengths adrift in third, previous winner More Buck's (28/1) fourth and Art Of Payroll (25/1) fifth.

Initially held up, selection Copper West (20/1) appeared to be struggling to stay with the main body of the field after a circuit. Thereafter he made some (very) modest progress which promptly petered out with a mistake at the third last, eventually finishing ninth over 28 lengths behind the impressive winner.