2019 Summer Plate Handicap Chase tips – Two against the field for Saturday’s Market Rasen feature
Brian Healy looks through the potential field for Saturday’s summer feature at Market Rasen and picks out two against the field who could post big runs.
Along with the Summer Handicap Hurdle which goes to post earlier in the racecard, the Listed Summer Plate Handicap Chase is an early indicator that the new jumps season will soon be on the horizon, and this competitive contest is arguably the biggest race of the summer jumps calendar.
Going to post at 3.20pm as the day’s fourth race on a seven-race card, the extended 2m 5f contest brings together some very smart sorts to compete for a top Listed prize over fences and a winners’ purse in the region of £28,000.
Broadcast live as part of Saturday’s ITV Racing coverage, some smart names have won this summer feature prize including More Buck’s, Alcala, Long House Hall, Brave Spartacus and Bobowen in recent years and a maximum field of 16 contenders will face the starters’ tape with each hoping to come out victorious.
Brian Healy takes a look at the potential runners in the race and picks out two against the field who could post big runs if making the final line-up.
Defending champion More Buck’s (12/1, William Hill) returns in a bid to retain his crown and become the first dual-winner of this race, but he faces a harder task than twelve months ago given he is 6lbs higher in the ratings and arrives here on the back of of some uninspiring efforts towards the end of last campaign.
Nicky Henderson could have as many as three runners in the race with Pacific De Beaune (8/1, William Hill) and Theinval (12/1, Paddy Power) joined by CASABLANCA MIX (11/1, Coral), and the Shirocco mare could be worth an interest with Nico de Boinville siding with the seven year old over the stable’s other runners.
A smart performer in France before joining this yard, the Seven Barrows inmate had just one hurdle start for her current handler before switching to the larger obstacles where she showed a good level of form in her first few outings.
Having chased home the ill-fated Willougby Court at Huntingdon back in November 2017, she went one better at the same venue before falling at Exeter when looking set to collect. Subsequently given a break, she placed in three of four starts last term prior to a short break which included being narrowly denied by Rons Dream over three miles here in the Bud Booth Mares’ Chase, and when finishing third to Happy Diva in the Lady Protectress Chase at Huntingdon.
A disappointing hurdles run on her reappearance from three months off was readily put aside with a return to winning ways at Aintree in May, beating Indian Temple, and she appeared to score a shade readily on that occasion where she sealed the deal with a fine jump at the last before keeping on well for the score.
He handicapper has raised her 7lbs for that win, but she remains well-treated nonetheless despite the rise given she went close here last November from 2lbs higher, and with the yard in decent form – 28% strike-rate since April with its’ runners – she could be worth keeping onside as the pick of the potential Henderson trio for this contest.
At bigger odds, SOLAR IMPUSE (20/1, Ladbrokes) has really recaptured his old sparkle since joining Ian Williams’ yard, and the Westerner gelding has shown the sort of ability that saw him contest at Graded level for Paul Nicholls where he won the 2016 Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival.
The nine-year old struggled under the care of Christopher Kellett, but since joining the shrewd Williams he has been given a new lease of life and despite an inauspicious start that saw him finish fifth on his yard debut where he possibly needed the run, and then unseating his rider next time at Wincanton he has since made hay with a handful of in-the-frame efforts that has yielded wins at Bangor over fences, and also over hurdles at Clairefontaine.
Runner-up when last seen out at Uttoxeter last month, where he was beaten seven lengths behind Mcgroarty, he may just have paid the price of setting too strong a pace on that occasion which nevertheless was a creditable effort in the circumstances.
A mark of 129 leaves him well-treated on his old form – he won the Grand Annual off 140 – and while he has yet to fully convince over this sort of distance, he could be worth another try at the longer trip despite his best form coming around two miles.
His earlier hurdles win in France came over 2m2f and he appeared to still be full of running on that occasion so there is hope that he can see out the stiffer test of stamina which he faces now, and if he does and can keep up the level of form he has shown since joining Ian Williams then he could go well.