Plumpton and Wolverhampton previews: Rock ready to roll
David Metcalf | February 15, 2016
Rock Gone holds solid claims on handicap debut at Plumpton
Rock Gone can cash-in on what looks a lenient mark to make a winning return to action in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle at Plumpton today (15.00).
The gelding has some fair form to his name in maiden hurdles in Ireland, and was sent off odds-on for both his starts in 2014 after joining trainer Dr Richard Newland.
Rock Gone could finish only third on debut for the yard at Ffos Las, but made no mistake next time up at Uttoxeter when bolting up by 14 lengths from Dancing Shadow.
The eight-year-old travelled strongly throughout in the latter and, after taking up the running three from home forged effortlessly clear to win easing down.
It was a most taking performance, and one which suggested Rock Gone needed keeping firmly onside.
Although Rock Gone has not been seen since and has a 463 days absence to overcome, his handler is more than adept at readying one and an opening handicap mark of just 126 looks very lenient given that Dancing Shadow is rated 124.
Clonusker the handicap hurdle choice
In the 2m handicap hurdle (16.00), Clonusker looks nicely treated on the pick of his form and decent value to land the spoils.
The Linda Jewell trained gelding opened his account in good style over course and distance back in January 2014 when staying on strongly to score by 14 lengths.
Clonusker then defied a 14lb rise in the weights to follow-up at Fontwell, and was far from disgraced when fifth of 11 at the same venue off a mark of 94.
The seven-year-old suffered an injury in the latter and has subsequently been on the sidelines for 630 days.
Although pulled-up on return to action over course and distance back in November, Clonusker showed up well until weakening two from home as lack of fitness took its toll.
The assessor has been quick to drop Clonusker another 3lb to 85, 3lb below his last winning mark, and that gives the son of Fasilyev major claims at the weights on ground which will hold no fears.
14.30: Ar Mad
15.00: Rock Gone (NAP)
16.00: Clonusker (NB)
16.30: Passing Du Moulin
Sweet on the Chanes of Candy Girl at Wolverhampton
Zed Candy Girl can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land an overdue success in the 7f handicap on today’s card at Wolverhampton today (14.20).
The Mark Loughnane trained mare is on a losing run of 15, having not won since scoring over course and distance last June off a mark of 62.
However, the six-year-old has posted a number of solid efforts to make the frame and is now able to race off a reduced rating of 55.
That is 7lb lower than when last victorious and gives Zed Candy Girl a big shout from a handicapping perspective.
Although disappointing last time out at Southwell, Zed Candy Girl clearly didn’t take to the fibresand surface and the daughter of Sakhee’s Secret had previously been running consistently well over course and distance.
The return to this venue is a big plus, and with stable continuing to be in good form Zed Candy Girl looks handicapped to run a huge race.
Course specialist Dana’s Present weighted to go well
Dana’s Present has a terrific record at the track and looks decent value to further enhance it with victory in the 1m 1f handicap that closes proceedings (16.50).
The Tom Dascombe trained gelding boasts a 60 per cent strike rate over course and distance, winning three times and being placed once in five starts.
In the last of those successes 13 months ago, Dana’s Present ran on strongly from off the pace to beat the now 103-rated Barye by 1/2 a length off a mark of 68.
The son Ososrio went to to score at Leicester off the same rating, and also ran a stormer when a head second of 15 to Mister Music in a competitive class 3 contest at Goodwood off 78.
Dana’s Present is now able to race in this class 4 contest off 74, and that makes him look nicely weighted on the pick of his form.
He should now also be spot on to do himself justice following two spins at Chemslford following a break, and a bold showing looks on the cards now Dana’s Present is returned to his favourite stomping ground for the first time in a year.
14.20: Zed Candy Girl (NAP)
15.20: Little Stampy
16.20: Whispering Warrior
16.50: Dana’s Present (NB)