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Moore and Gordon do battle for the title of Plumpton's leading trainer

Chris Gordon: has had a fantastic season at Plumpton
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2.47 Plumpton
Betting.Bet Betting Sites Handicap Hurdle | 3m1f, 4yo+ | Sky

This race has been won by course specialist Tambura in two of the last three years, but there will be a new name in the roll of honour this time and track form might not prove quite so crucial either.

Only one of the nine runners has a course victory to their name and the rest of the field are a combined 0-5 at the track. However, the one course winner, Blame The Game, recorded that success on his only run here, so can he make it 2-2 for trainer Chris Gordon?

Gary Moore is the leading trainer at Plumpton this season with seven winners, but Gordon is just one behind and his six victories came from just 17 runners, for a 35 per cent strike-rate.  

Blame The Game was fourth in a 3m Irish point in January last year, but he has looked more at home over shorter trips under rules and his latest win at Fontwell was achieved over 2m5½f. He was no stronger than at the line that day, though, so maybe 3m1f will be ideal.

His pedigree gives some hope on that score. Three of his eight relatives who have raced were fully effective over three miles and his brother Spiritofthegames also appears to stay this far.

Gary Moore: currently holds top spot at Plumpton

Moore will be defending his spot at the top of the Plumpton trainer list with Deebaj and there are no doubts with regards to his stamina. He won over 3m2f at Fontwell this time last year.

He was being niggled along at an early stage over 2m3f at Taunton last time but kept on strongly to finish a staying-on second and looks sure to appreciate the return to a longer trip.

Jepeck and Trincomalee revert to hurdles having been chasing last time, but in Britain since the start of 2016 there have been 587 runners in 3m-plus handicap hurdles who ran in a 3m-plus handicap chase on their last start, and only 50 won (eight per cent; -£184 to £1 level stakes). 

Race analysis by Graeme Rodway


What they say

Chris Gordon, trainer of Blame The Game
He's a staying horse and the trip will be ideal, the ground is fine and he's in good form. He won well last time, but he was put up 10lb which is a fair old hike and it's a question of whether he can overcome that.

Warren Greatrex, trainer of Bailarico
If he gets out of bed the right side he has an each-way chance. He won an all-weather bumper at Lingfield and the better the ground, the better his chance.

Seamus Mullins, trainer of Moroder
I hope he has every chance. He's still on a learning curve, but he won nicely at Fakenham despite the track. He's fit and well, he'll stay and I'm not worried about the ground.

Gary Moore, trainer of Deebaj
He'll appreciate soft ground and I hope the step up in trip will see some improvement in him, but he's got his work cut out because it's quite a tough race. 

Reporting by David Carr 

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He's a staying horse and the trip will be ideal, the ground is fine and he's in good form
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