An interesting and competitive card is promised at Plumpton today when racing goes ahead after a precautionary inspection.
Clerk of the course, Mark Cornford, said the going would be heavy and testing but there was no reason why racing should not take place. The day was expected to be generally fine, with some sunshine and an odd shower. Races are well subscribed.
Seven races start at 2.05pm with eight runners in the maiden hurdle race where Keys, trained by Tony Carroll and ridden by Daryl Jacob finished second at the track last time out on heavy ground. The one to beat could be the Oliver Sherwood-trained Santa’s Secret with Leighton Aspell aboard, which finished third at an earlier Plumpton meeting, but on better going.
Five runners compete in the two mile one furlong handicap chase where Nomadic Storm would be the obvious choice, trained by David Bridgwater and ridden by Tom Scudamore, but this will be his first outing since last June. Mr Muddle trained at Lewes by Sheena West and ridden by Mark Goldstein is a course and distance winner, but has not won on heavy ground.
Hold The Bucks, trained locally by Daniel Steele, has won four times at Plumpton on soft ground and has a chance of making this his fifth course and distance win with usual rider Freddie Mitchell on board in the two mile Cheltenham Handicap Hurdle if the ground is not too heavy.
Amateur riders will be competing for the Gaye Kindersley Memorial Salver in their handicap chase and two course and distance winners are in the line up- According To Them, stablemate of Hold The Bucks, and Ballyvoneen trained by Neil King. According To Them ran a blinder on heavy ground to win in January, while Ballyvoneen has won on soft but never heavy ground.
Bredon Hill Lad enjoys heavier conditions and is a main contender for the three mile one furlong handicap hurdle for trainer Sue Gardner with daughter Lucy on board. But Chris Gordon’s Sweet Boy Vic, with Tom Cannon back in the saddle, is the one who could thwart his bid for victory. He loves heavy ground and has done well at Plumpton, and his last run there without his usual rider, when he was pulled up, was too bad to be true.
The Mares’ Handicap Hurdle is an easier task for trainer Anthony Honeyball’s Cresswell Breeze, than when she won a 14-runner ordinary handicap hurdle on soft. But she has to shoulder top weight of 12.2 as a result of that with Aiden Coleman on board. Wiltshire trainer Godfrey Maundrell sends out course winner Tambura, and this five-year-old has also won on heavy ground. Another big plus is she has in-form jockey Tom Cannon on the saddle.
The meeting concludes with an eight-runner National Hunt Flat race.