Plumpton Preview: Tothemoonandback tough to beat
Tothemoonandback has some strong form to his name and looks to have been found a golden opportunity to notch his first success under rules in the Novices’ Handicap Chase at Plumpton today (2.25).
The Gary Moore trained gelding has only had two starts over the larger obstacles, and posted a cracking effort in the second of those when chasing home Standing Ovation at Wincaton.
The six-year-old stayed on well to go down by 1/2 lengths after a couple of errors late on, and the pair pulled 13 lengths clear of the field.
It was a highly promising effort, and the winner is now rated 131 after going on to notch another two successes and finish a fine sixth of 23 to Holywell at the Cheltenham Festival.
That is outstanding form in the context of this class 4 contest and makes Tothemoonanback look thrown-in at the weights off a mark of just 105.
Elsewhere on the card, the in-form trainer/jockey combination of David Pipe and Tom Scudamore look to have claims of landing a double with Ratheally and Saint John Henry.
Ratheally makes his debut over hurdles in the 4.25 and receives a handy 7lb from the favourite Relentless Pursuit.
The three-year-old gelding had some fair form to his name on the flat when trained in Ireland by Kevin Prendergast, winning at Gowran Park back in April and finishing a fine third in a handicap at Sligo when last seen in action two months ago.
The son of Baltic King has reportedly been schooling really well at home since joining Pipe, and can make the most of the weight he receives to get off the mark over hurdles at the first time of asking.
Saint John Henry makes his handicap debut in the 2m 5f contest that closes the card (4.00) and could well have got in lightly.
The four-year-old shaped with promise in three quick runs over hurdles back in the spring when not knocked about, and particularly caught the eye in the last of those when staying on to finish a never nearer fourth over 2m 4f at Taunton.
The son of Saint Des Saints should appreciate the extra furlong this afternoon judge on that effort, and looks to have been brought along with handicaps in mind.
Given his shrewd connections, it would be no surprise to see Saint John Henry improve significantly on the bare form he has shown so far and make a mockery of his opening mark of 100 in what looks a weak contest.
1.20: Maypole Lass
1.55: Lindsay’s Dream
2.25: Tothemoonandback (NAP)
3.30: Vinnieslittle Lamb
4.00: Saint John Henry (NB)