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Sport Preview: Dark Horses - Mon 31st Jan 2022

Dark Horses: 31st January

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2:10 Plumpton – Mustang Alpha

His career record of 1 win from 12 starts under rules means that his rating of 104 looks fair, but this will be just a second start over fences for MUSTANG ALPHA and this former point-to-point winner could improve now he is chasing.

He won a handicap hurdle at Hereford in November 2020 on a mark of 112 and whilst his connections have been keen to explore going up in trip, it hasn’t really worked and so the drop back to 2-miles at Plumpton looks a solid idea. He finished 5th on his Chase debut at Ayr on 2nd January, where he raced prominently before tiring in the home straight. He was beaten 22-lengths but he travelled nicely for much of that 2-mile 4-furlong trip, despite a couple of jumping errors, but simply looked like he didn’t stay the trip on Soft ground. He was the only Chase debutante in that field and is worth forgiving due to his lack of experience. The handicapper has given him another 5lbs back, leaving him on a career low mark of 104, which allows him to drop into Class 5 for the first time, all of which should leave him well treated to go well.

3:40 Plumpton – Abaya Du Mathan

Part of a series of horses purchased from France by the Wilson’s, things haven’t yet taken off for ABAYA DU MATHAN in the UK, though his 4th placed finish at Wincanton last time was a step in the right direction.

His best French form came at galloping tracks, with wins at Craon and Granville in 2021, both coming on soft ground. He has been pitched in at the deep end on his 3 starts for David Pipe, making his British debut in the Becher Chase at Aintree in December on a mark of 136. After 3 starts, the handicapper has reassessed him and brought him down to a mark of 115, which looks a much fairer assessment of his French form.

With Philip Armson’s useful 7lb claim he looks very well treated in this field and should find this company much easier than in his 3 previous starts on these shores.

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