Plumpton 2.40

Plumpton 2.40 Sussex National - Handicap Chase 3 miles 4 1/2 furlongs. Soft (likely sticky drying ground)
 
 
I think there are 2 keys to this race, firstly the Going is reportedly "soft" but i'm told not a lot of rain in recent days and therefore likely to be that tacky dead Going that suits some horses more than others. The other factor is that there is a genuine front runner in the field in SACKETT who should ensure a proper pace and not a dawdle round the first circuit. There are a few who are in good nick and form over slightly shorter who may want a more tactical race but in likely conditions and in a truly run race, I favour those with proven stamina in this type of Going at the trip and indeed over further.
 
If we start at the top of the market with Christmas In April who has decent Novice Chase form and who could be anything from the Tizzard yard, Hard to Forget who has a 3 mile P2P background and who has won last 2 at 3 miles and 1 furlong at Hereford off a mark of 108 and here off a mark of 117 and who runs off 125 today and BELLE EMPRESS a 3 miles P2P winner has form on heavy and who won over 3 miles and 6 furlongs at Exeter last time out, upped from 115 to 122 for that win and with Ben Jones up for Emma Lavelle, I see BELLE EMPRESS as my clear pick of the 3 at the top of the market and will have an each way saver on that one to cover my other main tip and a Tracker.
 
Of the rest, Garrane is well handicapped and worth following after today but best probably at 3 miles, Sackett as already indicated is the likely pace angle but tends to fade at business end over 3 miles; Vinnie Lewis has won this race; in 2018 off 127; gets a nice mark today but increasing gaps between races now indicate niggles. A bit danger on the proven stamina and Going angle and the hardest one to leave out of my final tips and deliberations. Finally, Billy Bronco another last time out winner who looks to have a decent chance but again one yet to conclusively prove stamina at this trip.
 
My other tip therefore is a longer shot near the bottom of the market and is WESTSTREET for Oliver Sherwood and Leighton Aspell. A horse who won 2 nice races last season over 4 miles in soft off 119 and 3 miles and 6 furlongs in heavy off 114, off a mark of 123 that does not look excessive and after 2 runs already, the last of which saw it pulled up but with excuses after being hampered badly and losing all rhythm. If the pace is genuine as we conject and the Going is dead, I think Aspell can get the horse in to a nice rhythm and pick off tiring horses round the back straight final time and come late in to contention up what is a far more deceptive climb than it looks on TV. I'm happy to take a punt on its proven form at these trips in the Going.
 
My Tracker would be THE CALLER a Course winner and a Distance winner but desperately "Inconsistent" with a capital I; won The Durham National on soft off 117 never Going at all last time, although on a quirky track and one of those who will either pack it all in early or run a big race (no half measures) but that proven regional National form makes it impossible to totally rule out.
 
TIP - BELLE EMPRESS + WESTSTREET - Tracker - The Caller @ 14/1.