The Plan is to pick a race each day and give it a fairly detailed preview - hopefully picking up a worthwhile punt, but not scrabbling around for one. In reality, the "every jumps day" might prove impractical. For instance, you have been to Plumpton, had a couple of pints, get the train back, go to the pub. There might well be time to go through a race and publish, but no-one wants the unintelligible guff. So The Plan and The Harsh Reality may not always coincide.

The verdict is simple for each horse: The more Axes the better, but lay, or at least avoid, the Stalins. Keep a wary eye on the Mysterons
In order to handle changeable ground, a preference table has been added - the key is:
Y+ = Strong preference      Y = OK      Y? = Probably OK      ?Y = Maybe OK      ? = insufficient evidence
?x = Maybe a problem      x? = probably a problem      x = definite problem      blank = no evidence to judge
19th July, Uttoxeter 4.10, Browns Recycling  Handicap Chase (class 4, 0-120)

Layout: left-handed, easy, level

Distance: 2 miles 4 furlongs

Going: Good

Stables in strong form: Richard Newland, Charlie Longsdon

Stables in below par form: none

Claiming jockey watch: Alex Edwards (Cut The Corner) claims 7 lb, 12/116, plus plenty in point-to-points.
All of these runners have finished runner-up on at least three occasions. Only six have won more than three times. The overall score is 28 wins, 44 seconds. So a good bunch to try a forecast with, if it is possible to decide who comes in as runner-up. Trafalgar Rock and Cut The Corner appeal most, and although there is an inclination to expect a better price on the latter, either can be supported at 3/1 or more.
HorseGoing DistanceCourse Comments
HeavySoft Gd-SoftGoodGd-Fm2m 4fLHEasyLevel
------------------------ -------- -------------------------------------------
Trafalgar RockYYYYYY
Strongly Suggestedx?x?YYYYYYY
Cut The Corner?YYY?YYYY
The Grey TaylorYY?YxYYY
TRAFALGAR ROCK (Richard Newland), 12-1, official rating 122

Finished runner-up in seven of sixteen flat races, casting a rather ominous shadow over the fact that he did win a couple. As a hurdler he burst into life with more intensity, winning three out of six, including a handicap from a 120 rating. Last month he made his chase debut over course and distance and was beaten by about a length, doing nothing at all wrong other than fail to catch the horse that made all of the running. A couple of his hurdle runs have hinted that he operates to his own agenda on occasions, but he is definitely capable of victory.

MCCABE CREEK (Caroline Bailey), 12-1, or 122

Twenty races for Alan King produced one win and four seconds, so it is no shock that his first two appearances for a new stable have resulted in him being runner-up again in both. Oddly, the one victory was in a really competitive race of eighteen runners and involved using a hood. After only being third in the next couple, the hood was removed and he celebrated by running out at Kempton (squeezed for room and not just having a sulk). It has stayed off and the results have been steady in their ordinariness, although he meets Strongly Suggested on the same weight terms as when a couple of lengths ahead of that horse in May.

STRONGLY SUGGESTED (Jonjo O’Neill), 12-0, or 121

At least he wins more often than he finished second, but some may argue that he could do with finishing in the first three more often given the frequency with which he competes in fields of modest size. Part of that is that his good form comes in clumps, and nobody should be amazed that a McManus/O’Neill horse would revert to near incompetence when off of his game. The latest decent spell was a three race run in April and May, following a break since Christmas, but he was well beaten last time. Aberration or the norm for the next few? History says the earliest runs following time off are the most productive.

CUT THE CORNER (Alastair Ralph), 11-12, or 119

Last tasted professional victory a year and a bit ago, winning a class 3 chase at Market Rasen. Since then he has changed trainer twice and won an Open point-to-point, although on the whole his record between flags was one of slight under achievement. The return to Rules was fairly respectable given that 2m 7f at Worcester is stretching his stamina about as far as it goes, making him vulnerable to more robust stayers. In September 2015 he was a close third over course and distance, so this race has the potential to allow him to build on that stable debut. Two weeks between runs is ideal, even in this hot weather.

THE GREY TAYLOR (Brian Ellison), 11-11, or 118, tongue tie

Seemed to choose 2014/15 as a career peak and the only time since that his adventures have caught the eye was a ten lengths seventh at Wetherby. For all of this failure, the handicap mark has declined from 140, but nothing in recent races indicates that he is getting ready to take advantage, although this is the first time that he has been able to slot into class 4 level in handicaps over fences or hurdles. This race distance looks a bit too far to turn things around, and he tends to be most dependable at Wetherby – and over hurdles.

DANVINNIE (Oliver Sherwood), 11-0, or 107, blinkers

Finished placed in both his bumpers and in his hurdles debut late in 2015, but since that had made life an almighty struggle. He did finish second on this course in a heavy ground maiden hurdles, but well beaten, and the first two chases saw one opponent of fifteen finish behind him and the average loss being seventy lengths. Putting blinkers on produced a notable improvement and the second time they were used brought about his first ever win – bear in mind that it was at the expense of Jonagold, who has no wins and six seconds in fourteen Rules runs. This will be more challenging.

HEPIJEU (Charlie Longsdon), 10-13, or 106, cheekpieces & tongue tie

He is in completely the right company here, because he too loves coming second far more than anything that he does regarding winning races. However, he does win every so often (now very well handicapped) and we must note that after his success at Huntingdon in late May, the chaos that he caused at Stratford last time would probably cheer him up no end. However, this is the sort of opposition that has proven to intimidate him, and the most likely outcome is for him cruise through the race and end up in the vicinity of the places.
Points of Order
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