David Massey has a couple of selections for Monday's meeting at Plumpton - don't miss the latest betting advice.
1pt win Ding Ding in 12.30 Plumpton at 7/1 (General) - minimum price 11/2
1pt win Midnight Aurora in 3.15 Plumpton at 4/1 (Hills, bet365) - minimum price 3/1
Well, it’s been a long wait, but we are going to be seeing the word “good” in going descriptions for a while, and that return to a sound surface should allow a whole cohort of horses to return to form having been kept on the sidelines or asked to run on ground softer than ideal. Plumpton should be good all over after a fine few days, and I’d prefer to stick to that venue than Ayr where it’s still soft.
In the opening Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Mares' Handicap Hurdle, two caught my eye, namely She’s Gina and DING DING, and preference is for the latter, particularly at the prices.
Sheena West’s charge has a course win to her name on soft ground, but she is a more reliable and consistent performer on good to soft or quicker ground, and has won her last two starts here when conditions have been suitable.
Her last eight runs have come on soft or heavy ground, and she is now 6lb lower in the weights than when winning this corresponding race – humping 12 stone – two years ago.
The other race to look at is the Call Star Sports On 08000 521 321 Handicap Hurdle, which is big on numbers but low on quality.
There are one or two who could go well at a big price, such as the veteran Tugboat, who is having his first run for Katy Price, and while he’s run badly in a couple of points over the winter, he should at least have gained some fitness, and his old form on a sound surface would make him look very well treated.
It’s not easy to give chances to 13-y-o handicappers with no recent form, however, and a much safer selection is Dan Skelton’s MIDNIGHT AURORA, who is the only one in the field with winning form under rules at three miles or further on a similar surface.
Midnight Aurora has been a bit disappointing of late, but she took a few runs to find form after returning from a long absence in the autumn, and she hinted at a revival when sporting cheekpieces at Musselburgh last time, where the ground would have been soft enough.
She’s slipped 8lb below the mark she won off at Huntingdon in October 2019, when also in this headgear, and she looks too well treated to ignore in a race as weak as this.
She has two previous handicap hurdle wins to her name on ground with good in the description, and the drying ground is a big positive to her chances.
Published at 1755 GMT on 28/02/21
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