Plumpton Preview: Double chance for Bridgie and Scu
Trainer David Bridgwater and Jockey Tom Scudmaore have a good strike rate together and look to have major claims of enhancing it with a double via Bravo Riquet and Bally Sands on today’s card at Plumpton.
The pair have teamed up 66 times in the past 12 months, resulting in 15 winners and 15 places, for a success rate of 22.7% and a £19.10 profit to a £1 level stake.
Bravo Riquet runs for them in the 2m 1f handicap chase (1.55) and is going to be very hard to beat under a 7lb penalty following a runway success over 2m 4f at the venue eight days ago.
The nine-year-old, who was having his first run for Bridgwater, took advantage of his lenient handicap mark in no uncertain fashion when making all to score easing down by 14 lengths despite a couple of jumping errors.
The manner of that success suggest Bravo Riquet was miles ahead of the assessor, and it’s no surprise to see connections turn him out quickly before a revised mark kicks in.
If turning up in the same form, the son of Laveron only needs to put in a clear round to follow-up.
Ballysands was a desperately unlucky loser last time out and can gain compensation in the 3m 2f handicap chase (2.30).
The 11-year-old snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory when his young rider Jake Launchbury nearly took the wrong course approaching the final fence when in a three length lead.
Although Launchbury managed to get Bally Sands over the last, the veteran lost all momentum and could find no extra near the finish to be beaten four lengths into third behind Always Bold.
There is little doubt in my mind that Bally Sands would have triumphed had he chartered a straight path, so off an unchanged mark of 98 he is in effect a winner without a penalty and will also benefit from the stronger handling of Scu.
Elsewhere on the card, the Gary Moore trained De Blacksmith is weighted to go well at a decent price in the extended 3m 1f handicap hurdle (3.35).
The gelding has some useful form over the smaller obstacles back in 2012 when landing back-to-back contests in the mud at Fontwell and this venue.
De Blacksmith was allotted an opening mark of 128 on the back of those victories, but after failing to shine in his next three starts had his attentions switched to chasing.
The seven-year-old ran a blinder on chasing debut when beaten just a neck by the classy Uxizandre at this track off a mark of 123, and now reverts to hurdling off a career-low mark of just 112.
That gives major claims from a handicapping perspective, especially if the fitting of the tongue-tie and cheekpieces for the first time have the desired effect.
1.55: Bravo Riquet (NAP)
2.30: Bally Sands (NB)
3.05: Parting Way
3.35: De Blacksmith
4.05: Kastani Beach