It should be second time lucky over hurdles for Acey Milan at Plumpton on Monday and Matt Brocklebank looks ahead to the action.
Acey in the pack
Anthony Honeyball won’t have been too disheartened by Acey Milan’s defeat first time out over hurdles. At least, he shouldn’t have been anyway.
Granted, the horse was sent off 4/9 favourite on his first outing since finishing fourth in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, but he clearly showed more than enough promise to be of significant interest going forward.
It was heavy ground – Ffos Las heavy at that – and it was Acey Milan’s first public outing over two and a half miles.
It’s no real surprise then that he looked to get a bit tired as Truckin Away poured it on in front, and he was finishing purpose.
Quite how high Acey Milan can scale over hurdles remains to be seen but with the outing under his belt now, the three-time bumper scorer should take care of his rivals in the Silly Moo Sussex Cider Maiden Hurdle at Plumpton.
No reputation to restore when it comes to the Amy Murphy-trained Kalashnikov who lines up on the same card in the Sky Sports Racing Novices’ Chase.
The Betfair Hurdle winner and narrow Sky Bet Supreme runner-up made a couple of minor mistakes en route to an 11-length chasing debut victory at Warwick last month but nothing that would put you off the idea of this horse going all the way to the top over fences.
He’s got the obligatory 5lb penalty to deal with second time out over the larger obstacles but takes on four chasing newcomers with nothing too terrifying on their hurdling CVs, plus the Paul Nicholls French recruit Envoye Special.
He’ll need to live up to his name to be competing seriously with Kalashnikov on his UK debut and in a nutshell it looks a gift of an opportunity for the favourite to set himself out on the path to the £60,000 bonus put up for winning here and at the Festival in March.
Red alert at Wolves
The Murphy team will also have an eye on Zafayan who makes his debut for the yard in the Betway Live Casino Handicap at Wolverhampton, but the new tongue-tie/cheekpieces combination probably won’t be enough for him to beat Redicean.
He’s 0-2 on the all-weather from his days in the care of Peter Chapple-Hyam and David O’Meara but won his first three starts over hurdles for Alan King, getting as high as 149 on the BHA ratings scale.
That’s crept down to 145 now following a couple of defeats this season but he wouldn’t have liked the morning rain ahead of the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last time and will presumably be kept away from the worst of the winter ground from now until the spring.
He'll be of considerable interest back over timber from his current mark in a big-field handicap somewhere, with a move up to two and a half miles surely now on the agenda.
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