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Trainer Mark Johnston closing on a career-best tally of winners
North Yorkshire trainer Mark Johnston, only four winners short of equalling his best-ever score of 216 set in 2009, can inch a step closer to his milestone at Wolverhampton this afternoon.
The Middleham handler saddles nap selection Power Up in the 32Red.com Maiden Stakes and Joe Fanning’s mount has good prospects of finally opening his winning account.
Power Up finished a respectable second to Hedge End on this course on his latest outing and although it is a slight worry that he has not been seen for more than two months, lack of fitness is seldom a problem for Johnston runners.
David Evans has had more than a century of winners again this year and the Welsh trainer can add to his tally with Honey Of A Kitten in the opening Coral Amateur Riders’ Handicap.
Nothing if not consistent, the five-year-old has been running well at this track lately, winning one of his last three starts and finishing placed in the other two.
Norton jockey Tom Eaves has good prospects of winning the 32Red Handicap on Artistical.
The three-year-old, trained by Lee Carter, was a decisive winner of a Kempton claimer last month.
He has been raised a few pounds but this is not a race which will take a great deal of winning and he is fancied to oblige.
The 32Red Casino Claiming Stakes looks a good opportunity for Howz The Family to gain his third win of the year and his second on this course.
Tom Dascombe’s juvenile easily landed a seller here a couple of weeks ago and can make his mark in this slightly stronger company. Richard Kingscote rides.
At Plumpton, all eyes will be on Rock On Ruby who makes his debut over fences in the Winter Gala Novices’ Chase.
The eight-year-old has scaled the heights of the hurdling world, having won the Champion Hurdle two seasons ago.
Harry Fry’s stable star finished second to The New One on his reappearance over hurdles at Kempton. This new discipline should relight his fire and enable him to resume winning ways against just two rivals.
Chase The Wind is not to be underestimated in the opening Call Star Sports Novices’ Hurdle.
Although he failed to cut much ice on his hurdling debut in hot company at Newbury last month, the four-year-old had previously showed a fair level of ability in bumpers. He can do better today.
Nicky Henderson’s Call The Cops, a beaten favourite last time out on his hurdling bow, can make amends in the J H Builders Novices’ Hurdle.
Also worth watching are recent winner Glenwood Prince (1.45) and Goring Two (2.55), a previous course winner who should have benefited from his recent seasonal debut.
Plumpton today 12.10 Chase The Wind, 12.40 Rock On Ruby, 1.15 Call The Cops, 1.45 Glenwood Prince, 2.20 Night Of Passion, 2.55 Goring Two, 3.30 Our Phylli Vera.
Wolverhampton today 1.55 Honey Of A Kitten, 2.30 Matraash, 3.05 Artistical, 3.40 Howz The Family, 4.10 Power Up (NAP), 4.40 Aomen Rock, 5.10 Eurystheus.
Today’s other meeting: Ffos Las.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Catterick, Fakenham and Southwell.
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