Plumpton preview: Cooper’s Friend weighted to strike

David Metcalf | November 16, 2015

Cooper’s Friend disappointed last time out, but looks worth another chance to cash-in on what looks a handy mark in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle at Plumpton today (15.05) now dropped back down in trip.

The gelding won his final start in an Irish point before joining trainer Charlie Longsdon and shaping with plenty of promise when runner-up on hurdles debut at Southwell.

Cooper’s Friend duly built on that effort to make all and beat Monbeg Gold by 1 1/4 lengths at Uttoxeter in September.

The eight-year-old showed a good attitude to dig deep and find plenty when challenged after the last, and the runner-up is a well-regarded sort who has gone on to win his next two starts and is now rated 128.

That is very strong form, and makes Cooper’s Friend look potentially very well-treated off a mark of 114.

Although the son of Kay Tara failed to shine last time out on handicap debut at Carlisle over 3m when a well-beaten fifth, he travelled well until three from home and the drop back to 2m 4f looks sure to suit.

With the yard in good form, this looks a nice opportunity for Cooper’s Friend to get back to winning ways.

Mercurey a mercurial talent

Paul Nicholls

In the 2m 3f novices’ chase (13.30), Le Mercurey can make his eagerly awaited debut over the larger obstacles a winning one.

The gelding won two of his three starts over hurdles when trained in France and shaped with plenty of promise in three starts last season after joining champion trainer Paul Nicholls.

In the last of those at the Cheltenham Festival, the five-year-old stayed on well after getting outpaced two from home to finish a seventh of 21 to Killultagh Vic in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

It was a cracking effort for one so inexperienced, and whatever Le Mercurey did over hurdles was going to be a bonus as he is a strapping sort who looks every inch a chaser.

The son of Nickname is also held in very high regard, and with the sdtable going well can make the most of thr 5lb he receives from Violet Dancer to take this en route to much better things.


13.00: Brave Jaq
13.30: Le Mercurey (NB)
14.00: Sonny The One
14.35: Catchin Time
15.05: Cooper’s Friend
15.35: Vinciaettis


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