Venetia Williams likes the Plate and she sends out four, the best of which is Niceonefrankie.
Sticking to the handicaps today - for what it's worth I’m struggling to oppose the favourites in the Graded action. The Pertemps has a long list of personal fancies and a fair few are towards the top of the market. That said I want to oppose the current favourite Leave At Dawn - he has just the sort of profile that gets beat in this. Missed Approach is narrowly overlooked in favour of If In Doubt. The horse ran in this race off a lower mark a few years ago but he’s a more battle hardened sort nowadays and has proved his stamina. The form of his last win has worked out well and this isn’t a hurdle race in which to give up on a failed chaser. His mark looks very fair based upon that last success and he has just the right profile for the race. Broxbourne is another that deserves plenty of respect for a return to better ground. Her course form with The Govaness is strong and she has proven stamina for the trip. She had excuses on her last start at the track when hampered and everything seemed to happen a little quickly for her at Kempton last time. Cheekpieces may sharpen her up a little too.
Venetia Williams likes the Plate and sends out 4. Best bet of them all is Niceonefrankie, a course winner last term who looks fairly treated off 3lb higher. I like the booking of Charlie Deutsch who’s had a super season for the yard and the horse shaped with promise last time behind Taquin Du Seuil. Also on the list are Ballycasey, Fingal Bay (no shortage of hounds) and, in particular, Salubrious. Now 1lb lower than when winning the Martin Pipe a few years ago, he was being talked of as a potential Graded festival horse at the start of the season. The wheels have come off a little since but the ground wouldn’t have been ideal last time and he’s a very well treated horse with festival form.
Cause Of Causes has obvious claims in the Kim Muir and a notable jockey booking. He’s well found in the market. It’s another JP horse that catches the eye at the prices though in the form of Upswing. He ran a cracker when favourite for a race here in November and the form has been well advertised by Perfect Candidate and the very progressive winner that day, Sausalito Sunrise. 3lb higher here, I fancy the extra emphasis on stamina that the new course provides will suit, as will the better ground. He had little chance given conditions in the Welsh National and the yard were well out of form at the time. They come good at this time of year though and I’m surprised there’s 10/1 lurking.