4:10 – Plumpton – RETIREMENT VILLAGES HANDICAP HURDLE (CLASS 4) (4yo+ 0-120) Soft, Good to Soft in places on the hurdles course 3m1f110y
Lord Crewe’s form figures since he has been sent hurdling are very reasonable given that in 13 runs he has won three times and been placed four times. However, since he has been competing in Handicap Hurdles his form has taken a sharp upturn in that he has won three times and been placed four times from just nine starts.
The 9 year old bay gelding makes his seasonable reappearance at Plumpton this afternoon and overall looks to have the best chance in the conditions at the course. He has not run for 236 days but has shown that he can run well fresh as he won on his seasonal reappearance last year in a similar Class 4 Handicap to the one he runs in today. The going is will also favour Lord Crewe who has won in Soft and Good to Soft ground.
Lord Crewe runs over 3 miles and ½ a furlong this afternoon and as a thorough stayer should see out the trip well. He has run over the trip once previously when he finished 2nd by a neck in a Class 3 race at Taunton in January and to back up his credentials he has also won over 3 miles twice and been placed three times from six runs.
He has not run at Plumpton before but given that he has plenty of stamina, he should act at the course as it has a stiff uphill finish and although it is not the stiffest of tracks overall it does tend to favour horses who stay in touch with the pace, which is Lord Crewe’s normal running style.
Lord Crewe is ridden by Richard Johnson who rode him three times without success during his maiden and novice days. However, Richard is in decent form having ridden four winners over the last 14 days including Balthazar King for Lord Crewe’s trainer Philip Hobbs at the Showcase Meeting at Cheltenham on Saturday. Richard Johnson also has a very good record at Plumpton with a 25% winning strike rate having ridden 22 winners from 89 rides at the track in the last 5 seasons.
With the Philip Hobbs yard starting to come into form with 3 winners from 15 runners over the past week Lord Crewe really should go well. He has a course specialist jockey doing the steering and he is proven in the ground and over the trip. Given that he has also won on his seasonal reappearance previously and that his is back down in class today his short price of 5/2 is perhaps understandable.