Steve Hughes has two selections from Sussex National day at Plumpton
We have a fairly quiet programme considering it is a Bank Holiday, but the highlight is from Plumpton which stages the Sussex National. I have two against the field for the big race, but the best bet is in the following chase. Poetic Rhythm was placed for the each-way bet yesterday (advised 10/1).
Plumpton 2.50: Mysteree & Dawson City
The Sussex National naturally requires stamina given the 3m4f distance, but on such a sharp track, the ability to travel close to the early pace will be a big asset. I have two selections that should be able to cope.
Mysteree has few miles on the clock for a 9yo having raced only a half-dozen times in chases. He was in excellent form last season for Lucinda Russell, winning twice on soft ground, but probably his best effort was a game fourth in the Eider Chase at Newcastle, proving his stamina for extreme distances. He made the move south to join Michael Scudamore in the summer and looked to have improved again when winning over this distance at Haydock in November in extreme ground. The booking of Richard Johnson that day might also have been a positive factor and he is back on board today.
Dawson City is a horse I have had in mind for a race of this type for some time. Whilst he finished second four times running last season, there are no doubts about his resolution and on each occasion he was beaten by quite a classy horse. He would almost certainly have won the time before at Chepstow, but for being knocked over by a loose horse three out. He tuned up for this by finishing fifth on ground too quick at Ascot, and did not get very far before being brought down in that melee at Wincanton last week that caused the race to be ultimately voided. He will get every yard of this trip and with Rigadin de Beauchene likely to cut out the donkey work, could easily pick up the pieces late on.
Plumpton 3.20: Brown Bear
Having only turned six yesterday, Brown Bear is only half the age of many of his opponents and looks thoroughly unexposed in chases beyond 2m.
Largely handicapped on his performances over 2m in hurdles – where he lacked the basic speed to be competitive, he can only really be judged on his two runs to date in chases, both on the stiff Towcester track. He was staying on grimly over 2m on his chasing debut, where he jumped pleasingly, eventually running on into third.
The step up to 2m4f next time was an obvious one and he responded with a gritty display to see off a recent winner in Jamrham by a neck. Whilst he had nothing in hand at the finish, the handicapper has only upped him 2lbs and we can reasonably expect some further improvement with experience. Whilst Plumpton is a sharper test, the going is much softer which will bring his likely stamina into play.
1pt win – Mysteree – 2.50 Plumpton – 9/2 SportingBet, Ladbrokes
0.5pts each-way – Dawson City – 2.50 Plumpton – 15/2 Bet365, Ladbrokes
1pt win – Brown Bear – 3.20 Plumpton – 7/2 general