We are all creatures of habit, horserace trainers non the less so, and Gary Moore likes to get a winner at Plumpton as he has done on 21 occasions from 103 attempts in the last five years.
One of those winners was in last year’s equivalent of today’s marathon Sky Sports Racing Handicap Chase over three and a half miles, when he sent out CHEQUE EN BLANC to take it by two lengths from Bermeo.
He went off a a mark of 102 then, and is only up 3lbs today, something he should be able to overcome being just a seven-year-old.
Prior to the race last year he had been beaten out of sight at Fontwell and had a nice pipe-opener at Exeter three weeks ago where he was down the field but beaten 25 lengths after running and jumping well until the last.
Regular partner Jamie Moore is on board and he has clearly been set up for this race.
He is top rated on BTO with DYLANSEOGHAN, another dour stayer who won over today’s distance at Stratford in April, 2018.
That was off 99 and he might just be a couple of pounds too high today at 106.
BIG MEADOW has been backed into favouritism and is a typical chasing stayer with a close third in an Exeter three miles six furlongs event a year ago.
He was beaten 20 lengths at that course last week, however, and goes off 6lb more today.
His record here at Plumpton reads 8,5,4 and 4 and MOGESTIC, who has won here might be a bigger threat.
The latter hasn’t done better than third in his last 10 attempts, however, and is in decline, though his mark is chasing that deterioration.
At 11/4, Cheque En Blanc looks an improver set up for the race.
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Another gutsy display at Huntingdon.
Seven jockeys were given 10-day suspensions.
Hilly Way triumph for one-time Arkle fancy.