Friday, July 21, 2023

Market Rasen Summer Plate 2023

Sixteen have been declared for tomorrow's Summer Plate (3.15 Market Rasen) with Francky Du Berlais bidding to win the race for the third consecutive year. 

Peter Bowen's charge won the 2021 renewal off a mark of 137, carried top weight to victory last year off 139 and carries top weight tomorrow off a mark of 140. 

My preview of last year's race highlighted the fact that in each of the previous ten renewals the top horse on official figures was rated higher than 139. 

It's no surprise to see that Sean Bowen prefers to ride the market leader rather than in-form stablemate Courtland; the yard has won the race on eight previous occasions with Stately Home (1997); Ballycassidy (2003); Yes Sir (2006); Iron Man (2007); Snoopy Loopy (2008); More Buck's (2018); and Francky Du Berlais (2021, 2022). 

Conceding a stone, Francky Du Berlais held La Domaniale a neck on the line last year (Tardree falling at the ninth when leading); this year the Jonjo O'Neill trained mare receives just three pounds after an impressive win at Aintree two months ago (Presentandcounting fourth, beaten 29 lengths). Two mares have collected the spoils in recent times: Casablanca Mix (2019); and Really Super (2020).

Veteran And The New appeared in rude health when beating Fix It All and Francky Du Berlais in last month's trial race over course and distance (Northern Bound fifth and Tardree sixth); the winner was raised 10 pounds for that effort.

At the end of May Gloire D'Athon won the Clarke Chase at Uttoxeter with the fast-finishing Killer Clown third - beaten two lengths - and Northern Bound sixth - beaten six lengths. That looks decent form. 

Yesterday Gloire D'Athon was priced up around 8/1 while Killer Clown was a 14/1 chance; this evening both are around the 9/1 mark. Northern Bound is 33/1 in places - and I can't immediately see why.

Three out Killer Clown was squeezed for room at Uttoxeter; on his second run after wind surgery it's easy enough to see why he's popular. In the past he hasn't been one to trust implicitly but he's shouldn't be inconvenienced if the forecast rain arrives.

Hang In There - stablemate of Killer Clown - wants good ground; most of his chase form has come in small fields. He made a bad mistake in the Future Champion Novices' Chase at Ayr in April and has contested two hurdles race since.

The booking of Harry Cobden for Born Famous catches the eye. 

The six-year-old mare is unbeaten since joining Iain Jardine's yard, as is Chief Black Robe since joining Fergal O'Brien. 

Chief Black Robe won a Class 5 novice handicap chase off a mark of 88 at this track in May and is now rated 121.

Gavin Cromwell saddles two - Railway Hurricane and Broken Ice. The former's second behind Unaswered Prayers in a Cheltenham novice last November reads well.

Saint Arvans beat Presentandcounting over three miles at Perth last time but all his chase wins have come in small fields.  

The official going is currently described as good but heavy rain is forecast throughout the day; several in the field are likely to be inconvenienced if the forecast rain arrives.

Formerly with Michael Scudamore, Fix It All ran well behind And The New on stable debut (Francky Du Berlais third) and will appreciate any rain that falls.

Fix It All is the each-way suggestion, 12/1 generally, with Sky Bet paying six places.