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Jump racing returns to terrestrial television on another sensational day

Richard Birch looks forward to a heady brew from Newmarket and Market Rasen

Market Rasen: summer jumping muscles in on the TV action alongside Newmarket's July meeting
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An incredible amount of top-class racing has been packed into the programme since the sport’s resumption on June 1 and it just keeps coming.

In less than six weeks we have embraced the winners of four British Classics, savoured some truly memorable performances at Royal Ascot, welcomed Flat racing’s biggest star Enable back for her fifth campaign and are now preparing to be dazzled by the sprinters in Saturday’s Group 1 Darley July Cup. 

The King George at Ascot isn’t far away and nor is Glorious Goodwood. Almost without realising it, the traditional high-summer festivals are upon us. It’s wonderfully relentless.

Just over a week after summer jumping returned at Southwell, the ITV4 cameras will cover two races from Market Rasen’s biggest day of the year, featuring the Betway Summer Plate Handicap Chase and Betway Summer Handicap Hurdle, in an intoxicating mix with five more events from day two of Newmarket’s July meeting, highlighted by the Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes.

John Gosden’s magic touch with fillies has been showcased regularly in recent weeks and he has two of the leading fancies in a seven-strong Falmouth field in Terebellum and Nazeef.

Frankie Dettori is aboard the hot favourite Terebellum, who produced a career-best performance in narrow defeat at Royal Ascot last month when going down with all guns blazing by a head to Circus Maximus in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes.

Terebellum (left) loses narrowly to Circus Maximus in the Queen Anne Stakes
The daughter of Sea The Stars remains relatively lightly raced with only six starts behind her and there is likely to be more to come.

That comment also applies to stablemate Nazeef, winner of all five race since a debut third and clearly getting better with every outing.

There was plenty to like about the way she beat Agincourt by a head in Royal Ascot’s Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes and it would be no surprise to see her make Terebellum pull out all the stops. 

Three of the other four televised races from Newmarket are fiercely contested big-field handicaps and punters will also need to work hard in an attempt to find the winners of Market Rasen’s feature events.

The 11-times champion jumps trainer, Paul Nicholls, who sent out the 2017 winner of the Summer Plate in Alcala, has already saddled three winners since jumping’s resumption and is doubly represented this time by San Benedeto and Lough Derg Spirit.

Paul Nicholls: strongly represented as jump racing returns to terrestrial television
The latter has his first start for the trainer after joining from Nicholls’ great rival, Nicky Henderson, and appears fairly handicapped on his best form, so it is no surprise that he figures at the top of the market.

Fair Mountain, trained by Dan Skelton, who is normally red-hot at this time of year, heads the market for the Summer Hurdle.

He finished second in the race two years ago and appears to have been laid out to go one better off the same mark.

Read more:

Henderson, Mullins, Nicholls, Skelton and more on their top summer jumpers

Mick Easterby: 'I sold my false teeth and got £120. I'm a legend, you see'

'I rode six winners at Royal Ascot - but I'm still ruing the one that got away'

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The ITV4 cameras will cover two races from Market Rasen’s biggest day of the year
E.W. Terms