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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Fisherman angling to frank summer form after playing the long game

Bumper hope bids to put finishing touches on grand plan

Michael Blake: has had the Champion Bumper on his radar since July
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Everyone loves it when a plan comes together, and there will be well-earned celebrations in store for the team at Staverton Farm if Fisherman Frank can execute his orders in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

The winner of his fourth start - the first for trainer Michael Blake - in a Worcester bumper last July, he has not run since. However, punters need not be worried by his absence - it was no accident, but by design.

"We made the decision after he won in the summer to put him away for this race," said Blake. "He won well, and if you look back at the race there were quite a few good winners in there."

Four to be precise, including the Nicky Henderson-trained runner-up Armaans Wish, who was six lengths adrift of Fisherman Frank and Freddie Mitchell.

The six-year-old, who was bought for just 3,000gns, will enjoy the assistance of Cheltenham stalwart Tom Scudamore here, carrying the colours of Tim Sutton.

"He's the first horse I've had for Tim, he arrived only a few weeks before Worcester," said Trowbridge-based Blake, who saddled last year's Fred Winter fifth Doubly Clever and for whom this would be a biggest career victory after 16 or so years with a licence.

"He went for a racecourse gallop at Wincanton a couple of weeks ago and that went well. He's a lot better than when we saw him last time, I'll say that."

We made the decision after he won in the summer to put him away for this race
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