RACING at Plumpton went ahead as planned after the course passed a 10am inspection yesterday, Monday, but the card for the day was decimated by 32 non runners, after 12mm of rain overnight.
Clerk of the course, Mark Cornford said the ground had some surface water in places but not where it would affect racing. “I think it looks worse than it is.,” he said.
The fixture included the At The Races Sussex National, which had previously rescheduled from a very wet day in January where the rainfall was so heavy the meeting was abandoned after three races.
That race went ahead as a finale at the meeting, when it was won by 11-2 shot Tour Des Champs trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by son Sam.
Only four of the eight runners completed the race, with the ground by that time extremely testing, and there was 16 lengths between the winner and the second horse, Krackatoa King, trained by Noel Williams, with third placed Finish The Story beaten just three quarters of a length into third place.
The fourth horse, and only other finisher, 4-1 shot Blameitomyroots sent out by Oliver Sherwood, was 19 lengths behind that.
Favourite Slidecheck took the following handicap chase for trainer Alexandra Dunn, ridden by Adam Wedge to a half length victory over 5-1 shot Bonds Conquest with Goring Two plugging on to claim third prize money for trainer Anna Newton-Smith , 72 lengths further back under Andrew Thornton.
The opening novice hurdle was won comfortably by 1-2 favourite Royal Vacation trained by Colin Tizzard and ridden to a victory of just over two lengths by jockey Paddy Brennan from 9-4 shot King Cool, trained by Gary Moore and ridden by son Joshua.
It was a day for heavy ground specialists and Like Sully, owned by Pulborough-based Winterfields Farm Ltd, relished the ground, having won under similar conditions in January last year. Trained by Richard Rowe and ridden by Andrew Glassonbury , the 9-4 favourite came home three lengths clear of Triple Chief.
Oxfordshire trainer Noel Willams and the Stonepoint Racing Club had cause to celebrate when their purchase off the Flat last year, Authorized Too, justified favouritism to take the Maiden Hurdle race of the day in style under jockey Wayne Hutchinson- coming home clear of the Chris Gordon- trained Tara Bridge.
The Paul Nicholl’s trained Vicenzo Mio, sent off at 3-1, could finish only third in the Sussex Champion Hurdle, when the popular combination of trainer Chris Gordon and jockey Tom Cannon took the race with 16-1 shot Disputed, coming home clear of the Gary Moore-trained Darebin at 10-1.
Disputed, a six-year-old Westerner gelding, joined his Hampshire handler from Irish trainer Gordon Elliott last September and this was only the second victory of his career, rewarding his new connections.
There was a double at the meeting for Chris Gordon when he sent out Loves Destination to win the final Conditional Jockeys Race under David Noonan. This rider had caught the eye as an amateur and wisely switched to going down the conditional jockey route.
He should go far, for he a fine rider and good judge of a horse’s capability.