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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Tim Vaughan aims to make most of extra meeting despite 20-hour round trip

Tim Vaughan: trainer rates Nathans Pride as his best chance on Monday
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If the BHA had asked Tim Vaughan, who trains in south Wales, where he would like an extra jumps meeting to be held, chances are Musselburgh, just to the east of Edinburgh, would probably not be high on his list.

However, he sends four horses on the ten-hour, 400-mile trip for a meeting that has attracted 72 runners following a spate of cancellations recently.

"I've gone for the ground as it's so hit and miss at the moment," Vaughan said. "It's dry, it's wet, it frozen, it's off, it's on – it makes you dizzy.

"I've got a few horses I want to get runs into and thought, 'Bugger it, let's go up there'. I always like to try when the BHA puts something on because they're doing it for us and there should be give and take in life."

So what chance of a winner to pay for the petrol?

"I've got to say we're going up there specifically for the best ground I can get for Nathans Pride [2.15]," added Vaughan, who will stay closer to home and head to Ffos Las on Monday.

"He ran really nicely last time and escapes a penalty as we're back over hurdles and he's on a mark which he won off in a far more competitive race at Aintree. He's the more obvious one, while Champagne Chaser [1.10] hated the bottomless ground at Ffos Las last time, so if he bounces back to form you hope he'd be competitive.

"Fraser Canyon [12.40] is dropping in grade and Scrutinise [3.20] has been disappointing on soft ground, so we're giving him a chance going up for the best ground we can find."

The ground was given as good to soft on Sunday, however there is an 8.30am inspection as temperatures could dip to -1C, and the irony of the additional meeting being cancelled and the three originally scheduled cards surviving would be lost on nobody!

Rayvin Black: finished second at Hereford on Saturday and appears again at Ffos Las

Horrible is beautiful for Black

Rayvin Black finished second in a decent handicap hurdle under Tom Garner at Hereford on Saturday and is set for a quick reappearance at Ffos Las in the 2.40.

"I wasn't going to run him but they reopened the race and he didn't do a lot yesterday – I think Tom had to work harder," trainer Oliver Sherwood said on Sunday.

"He's getting a bit cute and the ground wasn't as soft as we'd hoped. It will be horrible tomorrow, but it can't be too horrible for him ground-wise.

"He went out in the field today and was bucking and squealing. He's not as quick as he was and he lacks a gear, but hopefully on the heavy ground he can travel a bit better. I've just put a visor on to help make him travel, but he knows more about the game than me, Tom and all of us put together." 

Does the Kap fit?

Strapping grey Fixe Le Kap has useful form over hurdles having finished second in the Imperial Cup and won a Listed race in France in the spring, but Plumpton's 12.50 – in which he makes his debut over fences – is surely what connections have been waiting for.

Owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, he should relish testing ground and is a horse champion trainer Nicky Henderson hopes will turn into "a festival-class novice chaser."

That's handy, because the winner of the Plumpton contest will be eligible for a £60,000 bonus, given to any horse who can win a 'qualifier' at the East Sussex track and goes on to win over fences at this season's Cheltenham Festival.

Monday's cards

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I thought, 'Bugger it, let's go up there'. I always like to try when the BHA puts something on because they're doing it for us
E.W. Terms
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