1:45 – LWC Signature Stakes Novices’ Hurdle
The opening race on the card was won by the now 145-rated Calva D’Auge and it may throw up another very promising winner this year in Mark Of Gold. The five-year-old was an impressive winner here on January 19 and he looks likely to score again for Gary Moore, despite shouldering a penalty for his last-time-out success. His biggest danger may be San Giovanni, who showed plenty of promise when finishing third at Wincanton before Christmas but finished down the field at Taunton on January 10, with trainer Harry Fry describing the soft ground as unsuitable post-race. Connections will be hoping Sunday’s rain will not have too much impact on the going, which is described as Good, Good to Soft in places at the time of writing.
2.20 – Gentlemen’s League Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
Dynamite Kentucky was a course and distance winner here on January 19 and is bidding for a hat-trick of wins for Dr Richard Newland. He has only been raised 5lbs for that two-and-a-half-length success and may prove hard to stop winning again, however 11-year-old The Tin Miner looks a solid option to hit the frame in opposition. It is recommended to shop around for prices for this race – with some bookmakers offering the added insurance of four places instead of three – and two-time course winner The Tin Miner hasn’t finished outside the first four in his previous six starts.
2.55 – Ellis Wines Ltd Bicentennial Stakes Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase
Paul Nicholls sends just one runner to Plumpton on Monday and his Ubetya looks interesting in this feature 2m3½f Novices’ Handicap Chase. Formerly trained by Laura Morgan, the 132-rated Ubetya has been off the track since December 2020 and makes his stable debut under Harry Cobden. He has some decent back form and will be hard to beat if on song, but Gary Moore’s Sopran Thor could prove better than his mark of 127 as he bids to bounce back from unseating his rider at Lingfield last month. Chinwag has made a promising start over fences – recording a first, second and third in his three chase starts – and looks likely to hit the frame, while Downtown Getaway has been rather inconsistent this season and is difficult to place too much confidence in.
3.30 – Long Man Brewery Handicap Hurdle
Similar to Nicholls, Nicky Henderson only sends one horse to East Sussex on Monday in the shape of likeable grey Full Of Light. The progressive six-year-old ran out a two-length winner at Plumpton on December 21 and bids to follow up over the same conditions under Nico de Boinville. A 5lb rise may not be enough to stop him going in again, but fellow Plumpton winner Whistleinthedark looks interesting for Richard Hawker on his handicap debut. He was handed a rating of 115 following his narrow course and distance maiden hurdle win on December 13, and it will be fascinating to see how he fares off that mark. The youngster in the field San Pedro showed some promise both on the flat and over hurdles in Ireland and could prove better than his rating of 105 for Paul Henderson and Nick Scholfield, especially as he was a narrowly-beaten second at Lingfield off a 3lb higher mark in November.
4.05 – Roger Lade Memorial Handicap Chase
At five years old, the David Pipe-trained Red Happy is four years younger than any other horse in this field and won his final two starts in France before being transferred to Pipe’s yard in the autumn. He was pulled up in his sole British start at Sandown last month and has since had wind surgery, so there are plenty of question marks to consider if siding with him. The Nick Gifford-trained Fairway Freddy has won his last two starts over course and distance – in March and April last year – but has not showed much promise on his last two outings at Sandown and Fakenham respectively, while Le Coeur Net has been disappointing in both his starts this season. The other runner in the field is Early Du Lemo for Gary and Josh Moore, and he goes in search of his first win since January 2019. He was well beaten on Heavy ground at Chepstow last time and was dropped 5lbs for that effort, which (depending on how much rain gets into the ground) may prove too generous given his best career form has come on Good to Soft.
4.40 – Tie The Knot Wedding Catering Mares’ Handicap Hurdle
13 runners go to post for the final race of the day and it looks a wide open affair to this pair of eyes. Bella Beau looks a solid option to side with having been raised just 1lb for her second to Tara Iti here on January 19 and could go close again under 5lb claimer Tom Buckley. Eventful was third in that contest and keeps the same mark for local trainer Suzi Best, while Goat represents the colours of JP McManus and goes in search of her first win over hurdles at the ninth attempt. Bolt N Brown is a rare jumps runner for Gay Kelleway and on back form could be well treated off 86 under Jamie Moore.