Talking Horses: Monday’s best bets for Plumpton and Wolverhampton

Greg Wood
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">A general view as runners clear a fence at Plumpton, where racing takes place on Monday. </span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images</span>
A general view as runners clear a fence at Plumpton, where racing takes place on Monday. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

As ever on a Monday, there is a wide range of ability on show at the day’s three meetings, but the feature races at both Plumpton and Wolverhampton are fascinating contests and deserve close inspection.

Plumpton’s main event is a £16,000 handicap hurdle over two-and-a-half miles, and all bar a couple of the 14 declared runners go to post with a chance on their best form.

Beggar’s Wishes, who had plenty to spare when he won at Southwell a week ago, is the probable favourite, but the two recent victories that have sent him to the head of the market were both over the minimum trip. That has to be a concern in Monday’s competitive field, and his main market rival Groundunderrepair (3.00) makes more appeal as a result. Warren Greatrex’s runner was also racing at two miles when winning a novice event at Lingfield in February, but remains very lightly raced and seems certain to benefit from a step up in trip.

Goonjim (3.30) also has plenty in his favour in the handicap chase on the same card, while at Wolverhampton, the field for the 10-furlong handicap for three-year-olds runs to just half a dozen horses but is still brimming with potential. John Gosden, Richard Hannon and Ralph Beckett all field runners, and the three that went through the ring as yearlings all fetched six-figure sums.

The one to back, though, could well be the home-bred Earthly (3.20), a product of Prince Khalid Abdullah’s peerless breeding operation. Earthly has plenty of American dirt in his pedigree – his dam was a half-sister to a Kentucky Derby runner-up – and has scope for further progress on his handicap debut after an impressive maiden success last time out.

All For The Best (3.50) is also interesting at around 9-1 in the stayers’ handicap on the same card. This will be his first run on the Flat since May 2016, when he was a commendable fifth in a handicap at Goodwood off a mark of 74, having been briefly held up in his run.

All For The Best has shown winning form over hurdles since, most recently at Sedgefield on Boxing Day, and races off 72 today, when a reproduction of his best performances over timber would make him a serious contender.

Cahar Fad (2.20) is one more to consider closely on the same card, while Ardmayle (4.10) should complete a hat-trick in less than a month when he lines up for the novice handicap chase at Market Rasen.

Monday’s tips

Plumpton 2.00 Ruwasi 2.30 He’s A Bully 3.00 Groundunderrepair 3.30 Goonjim 4.00 Goodnight Charlie 4.30 Finnegan’s Garden 5.00 Jubilympics

Market Rasen 1.40 Louis’Vac Pouch 2.10 Monkhouse 2.40 All My Love 3.10 Future Gilded 3.40 Karisma King 4.10 Ardmayle (nb) 4.40 Reine Des Miracles 5.10 Doctor Thea

Wolverhampton 1.50 Wurood 2.20 Cahar Fad 2.50 Mosman 3.20 Earthly 3.50 All For The Best (nap) 4.20 Vivre La Reve 4.50 Frank Cool 5.20 Mr Potter

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