Market Rasen hosted their big race day of the year on Saturday with the highlight on the card being the 2m6f Summer Plate Handicap Chase. The big race lived up to its star billing, producing a scintillation finish between the Lawney Hill trained I HAVE DREAMED and the Peter Bowen trained AL CO. AL CO was previously highlighted as an NTF to follow horse and he came within a short-head of landing the hat-trick, losing out in agonising fashion in a photo-finish. Depending on what the Handicapper does AL CO may well still have more to offer in the handicap sphere, preferably over a slightly longer trip than that of the 2m6f he faced in the Summer Plate.
Despite taking another step forward in his career AL CO is not the main focus of my ‘to follow’ post. That honour, however, does go to one of the other runners in the Summer Plate field.
Here is my NTF 1 to follow from the weekend -
SPOCK (P Nicholls) – Saturday 3.25 Market Rasen – Faller in the 2m6f Summer Plate Handicap Chase
Daryl Jacob was yet to really play his hand on the Paul Nicholls trained 7yo when the gelding came to grief 7 out. He had made my shortlist when I analysed the Summer Plate on the Blog on Saturday but my main worry about him was his record going right-handed compared to his record going left-handed. After this fall his record going right-handed now reads – 7-6-6-5-2-F – compared to his much more favourable record going left-handed – 1-1-R-1-2-1 – very clear indicators that he is one to avoid when racing right-handed; at least until proven otherwise.
He probably isn’t going to be one that has the ability to streak up through the ratings to lofty heights but he can certainly win more races. He looks to have plenty of juice still left in him off his current mark of 129 and connections have indicated that they may target the valuable handicap chase that is run at Newton Abbot at the beginning of September; from our point of view that is great news as Newton Abbot is a left-handed track.
SPOCK is a horse that enjoys hearing his hooves rattle off fast ground so fingers crossed we can now (EVENTUALLY!!) get a sustained period of dry weather and Nicholls can aim his charge at ground he loves.
SPOCK ideal conditions – Left-Handed track | Good or better ground | Possibly better on a flat track such as Newton Abbot or Worcester
Now it’s your turn -
Who were the runners that caught your attention and went in your own notebook as ones to follow from the weekend?
Drop me a comment below and share your runners to follow from the weekend (Flat or Jumps) with the NTF community.
Happy ‘summer’ Punting!
Ben – (NTF)