Friday, July 16, 2021

Market Rasen Summer Plate 2021

I can't deny feeling a little ring-rusty looking at tomorrow's Summer Plate at Market Rasen (2.40), a race which traditionally marks the mid-point of the summer jumps programme. Sixteen have been declared; the going is described as good.

Last year's renewal was run on Friday 10th July, with jump racing having only just emerged out of lockdown at the beginning of the month. The Amy Murphy trained mare Really Super came home in front at odds of 25/1 that day with Solomon Grey third, Royal Village sixth and Pink Eyed Pedro eleventh. 

Last time out Really Super finished well beaten in the Clarke Chase at Uttoxeter at the end of May; this year the handler relies on Mercian Prince who has shown respectable form on two runs over hurdles following wind surgery in April. The last ten year old to oblige was I Have Dreamed in 2012.

Captain Tom Cat is one I like and it's easy enough to see why layers have Dr Richard Newland's charge at the head of the market. The gelding has impressed this summer, winning all three chase starts to date. He won off a mark of 125 at Aintree in May and starts off 147 tomorrow; this race certainly represents his most difficult task to date.

The form of the Clarke Chase at Uttoxeter is worth close inspection.

Francky Du Berlais just got up to deny Pistol Whipped a nose with Pink Eyed Pedro fourth, Topofthecotswolds fifth and Exelerator Express sixth - six lengths covered the first six home. 

Subsequently Francky Du Berlais was beaten six lengths by Solar Impulse at Cartmel while Topofthecotswolds finished well adrift in sixth in the Uttoxeter Summer Cup which is run over an extended trip of three miles two furlongs (Talkischeap pulled up and Solomon Grey unlucky to unseat four out when in contention). 

Using the Clarke Chase as a benchmark, Topofthecotswolds looks marginally favoured at the revised weights, although there wouldn't be much in it; Paul Kealy makes the case for the Twiston-Davies horse in his Weekender column. 

Neil Mulholland has his horses in fine form (7 wins from 24 runs over both codes in the past fortnight) but I'm not entirely convinced Exelerator Express is going to see out this trip.

Four weeks ago Lord Bryan won the Summer Plate Trial over course and distance. 

Peter Bowen regularly targets this event and in the past has claimed the spoils with Stately Home (1997), Ballycassidy (2003), Yes Sir (2006), Iron Man (2007), Snoopy Loopy (2008), and More Buck's (2018). 

Lord Bryan goes from two pounds out of the handicap tomorrow; of the stable's two entries, Francky Du Berlais is preferred.

Paul Nicholls, who claimed the spoils with Alcala in 2017, saddles Darling Maltaix. This one won as he liked at Newton Abbot three and a half weeks ago on his first run after wind surgery; the majority of his chase form has been gained in fields with ten runners or less.

On his penultimate start Fire Away won comfortably at Cartmel (Templepark ten and a half lengths adrift in third and Royal Village tailed off - later found to be lame). Stablemate Licklighter didn't make the final declaration stage but perhaps that's no surprise as he seems better suited by three miles. Laura Morgan's operation based in Leicestershire has been on the radar for some time now.

Fire Away subsequently won over the brush hurdles at Worcester while Templepark has undergone wind surgery. Fergal O'Brien's charge has been placed in 14 of his 15 chase starts to date and sports first-time cheekpieces tomorrow. On a strict interpretation of the formbook he's entitled to finish a lot closer to Fire Away yet that fact isn't reflected in the market with Fire Away generally quoted a 9/1 chance while Templepark is 20/1 with most layers. 

That's A Given looked good at Newton Abbot the last day after wind surgery but he was well beaten by Licklighter at Southwell a couple of runs before. He's one pound 'wrong' at the weights.

Royal Village, second in 2019 off 137 and sixth last year off 141, looks to have been given a chance for new connections with a rating of 130; Emma Smith-Chaston claims an additional seven pounds. He was somewhat fortunate to win over course and distance 13 days ago when Solar Impulse came to the last four lengths ahead and fell.

Top weight Talkischeap is tried in a first-time visor but this trip is likely to be on the sharp side for Alan King's charge.

A very competitive renewal. Uttoxeter's Clarke Chase appears a significant piece of form; recent winners have tended to be aged between seven and nine.

Laura Morgan's Fire Away looks unexposed compared to some in this field but at the prices Templepark offers value and the Fergal O'Brien yard is operating at a 32% win strike-rate over the past fortnight.

Templepark is the each-way suggestion, currently 20/1 with Sky Bet who pay one fifth the odds six places.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

On paper a most competitive renewal of the Summer Plate but in reality the Peter Bowen trained Francky Du Berlais (11/1) could be called the winner from three out. Pilot James Bowen sent his mount on after the penultimate flight and the pair crossed the line some seven and a half lengths ahead of Exelerator Express (11/1) with Pink Eyed Pedro a further one and a half lengths adrift in third.

Selection Templepark (28/1) proved easy to back on the day and that price looked an accurate reflection of his chance in the early stages as he raced at the rear of the field with just Royal Village behind. Max Kendrick started to make up ground coming off the home turn for the final time and the pair made steady headway up the straight to pip Captain Tom Cat (100/30f) for fourth place on the line.