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Plumpton Preview: Great chance for Choice

Great Choice can take advantage of a slight ease in grade to notch a first success under rules in the 2m 5f handicap hurdle at Plumpton today (3.20).

The David Pipe trained gelding has only had six starts and shaped really well on seasonal reappearance when second of 19 to Chesterfield in a competitive class 3 contest at Cheltenham.

The six-year-old travelled strongly at the head of affairs and looked the likely winner until being unable to find any extra close home and going down by just a length.
Several of those that finished in behind have come out and won since, and the form looks very strong in the context of this contest.

Great Choice backed up that run with solid third to Private Malone at Wincanton last month on heavy ground, again travelling strongly for much of the contest before weakening to be beaten just over 10 lengths.

Today’s less testing conditions should suit, and Great Choice looks open to further improvement on just his third start in a handicap.

Another plus is that his handler and jockey Tom Scudamore are in terrific form, and off an unchanged mark of 125 Great Choice looks weighted to take all the beating in a race lacking any real strength in depth.

In the 2m conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle (4.20), Dainty Diva is a fascinating contender of just her second start for trainer Jeremy Scott,
The mare has some strong bumper form when trained in Ireland, finishing runner-up to now 128-rated Ask Vic in a 14-runner affair at Kilbeggan before getting off the mark at Wexford when gamely beating Snatch Back by 1/2 a length.

The five-year-old has subsequently failed to get her head in front in nine starts over hurdles, but did post a solid effort on handicap debut when fourth of 14 to Lilly The Lioness at Kilbeggan last September off a mark of 96.

That form looks pretty strong in this line-up and Dainty Diva shaped better than her finishing position suggests last time out over course and distance on her first start since joining Scott.

Dainty Diva kept on to finish fourth to Sirop De Menthe off a rating of 100 without being unduly knocked about on her first run for 91 days.

The daughter of Indian Danehill should now be spot on to do herself justice, and having been quickly dropped 4lb by the assessor Dainty Diva looks handily weighted based on her bumper form if building on that effort.

Selections:
1.50: Twentytwo’s Taken
2.20: Allez Encore
2.50: Traffic Fluide
3.20: Great Choice (NAP)
3.50: Representingceltic
4.20: Dainty Diva (NB)
4.50: King Kayf