Summer Plate Tips: Keep It Simple And Back The Cat At Market Rasen

Summer Plate Tips: Check out our selection for the Market Rasen showpiece here.
Summer Plate Tips: Check out our selection for the Market Rasen showpiece here.

A stellar field will line up for the Summer Plate at Market Rasen on Saturday afternoon, and our tipster Steve Chambers previews the event here and picks out his best bets for the Jumps showpiece...

Dr Richard Newland's Captain Tom Cat has been in tremendous form recently, and the hugely progressive six-year-old will attempt to notch up his fourth win on the bounce this weekend, and he is well fancied to bag glory in the Summer Plate Handicap Chase at Market Rasen. The son of Dylan Thomas won off a mark of 125 at Aintree back in April, and has since won a brace of novice chases at Worcester, and he has subsequently soared in the handicap, and will line up on Saturday off a mark of 147.

While that 22lb higher mark than his last handicap success will give him a notably tougher task, the manner in which he has been dominating races this summer suggests he's more than capable of defying that hike in this ultra-competitive betting heat. A facile 29-length winner in his last outing continued his dominance over fences, as he had previously won by 12 and 11 lengths, respectively, so he has to be regarded as the one to beat here.

He will face a different kind of test at Market Rasen, as he has been dominating small-runner fields, but he will face a whole plethora of rivals this weekend, but he is flourishing at a rate of knots, and has been one of the stars of the summer jumping scene, and he could well be worth following again here.

Dan Skelton trained Long House Hall to victory in this race back in 2016 and he will team up with his brother Harry on Saturday and the pair will unleash Solomon Grey, who has some smart form over fences, and has to be a major player. He shaped with real promise last time out at Uttoxeter before unseating and he will line up here off the same mark of 139. A real model of consistency when completing, Skelton's charge has only managed to get his head in front at Uttoxeter (3 wins), but he did run well in this race last season. He finished a fine third behind Really Super last season, but that was off a mark of 133, so he will need to improve on that off a 6lb higher mark, so he may just have to settle for the minor honours again.

Peter Bowen has a sensational record in this contest having saddled the winner on six occasions and he will take his chance here with Francky Du Berlais, who is bidding for a third win in four races. Wins at Haydock and Uttoxeter has seen that progressive chaser surge up the handicap, but he failed to make it a hat-trick of wins last time out when beaten off his new mark of 137 at Catterick. Lining up off the same figure for this, it could be that the handicapper has a grip of him now, and he can be ignored.

Lord Bryan will be the second shot fired by the Bowen gun and he was last seen winning the Summer Plate Trial at Market Rasen, but a 7lb rise for that win means he has a stiffer task, and while he can run a solid race from the lower echelons of the handicap he may just not have the class to land a blow. On the contrary, Paul Nicholls, who trained Alcala to victory in 2017, will fancy the exciting Darling Maltaix can continue on an upward curve, and he could prove to be the biggest danger to the favourite, Captain Tom Cat. A success at Newton Abbot last month saw him bounce back from a lengthy break, and having only been upped 3lb for that success, the Ditcheat inmate could improve again, and a mark of 134 looks feasible, and he has to be a huge contender.

Another challenger going in search of a hat-trick of wins is Fire Away, who won a handicap chase at Cartmel before tasting victory over hurdles at Worcester. Sitting on a career high mark, the talented star will have to improve further, and he may just lack the scope of some of his rivals. Runner-up in the Topham Chase at Aintree's Grand National meeting in April, Pink Eyed Pedro was last seen finishing Francky Du Berlais, and it's hard to see him reverse that form here, while the Noel Williams-trained That's A Given was a winner last time out, but heads into this contest 1lb out of the handicap, so faces a stiff ask.

A winner off a mark in the low 140s earlier in his career, Amy Murphy's Mercian Prince has struggled to recapture those dizzy heights in recent times, but he has had a couple of decent runs over hurdles of late - including a victory at Worcester, and having won at Kempton over fences in November, albeit off a mark of 127, he has to be considered a player. He looks to be recapturing some of his old form, and while a mark of 136 will test his abilities, he's shown that he's a class act on his day, and at double-figured odds he could be the each-way value in the race.

Summer Plate
Captain Tom Cat silk

Captain Tom Cat

Summer Plate
Mercian Prince silk

Mercian Prince (EW)

Today's Racing Tips
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