There was an excellent turnout on Sunday of around 3,500 people for the first fixture at Plumpton since May and the course looked in superb condition.
Further improvements to customer facilities were well received and as ever Plumpton were diligent in providing additional entertainment to the racing itself with a number of displays and attractions throughout the day that justified the ‘Family Day’ title given to the meeting by the racecourse executive.
The seven race card provided £58000 in added prize money and the overall quality was up to the expected level for a meeting at this time of the year. The track itself had been heavily watered to maintain safe ground and with a lush covering of grass, there were no withdrawals on account of the ground which was given the accurate description of good to firm, good in places.
The principal race of the day went to the in form dual purpose performer Teak. Trainer Ian Williams is not a frequent visitor to Plumpton but he found an ideal opportunity here for Teak who after attracting strong market support took the three mile one and a half furlong handicap hurdle in comfortable fashion. Sitting out the back during the early stages, he progressed smoothly past his rivals throughout the final circuit to take up the running off of the home turn and from thereon in Teak had only to worry about safely negogiating the final two flights of hurdles’. This he did without fuss and though he beat only a field that all had questions to answer, he could not have done it in a more professional manner. Concerns about the temperament of Massannie once again rose to the fore as she put in a thoroughly mulish performance, dropping anchor at the station bend on the second circuit and then proving so reluctant that jockey Tom Scudamore had little option but to pull her up early on the final lap. Overall, the form is modest but the manner of Teaks performance makes him worth keeping an eye on for a similar event, something that cannot be said for Massannie who should now come with a wealth warning.
Despite proving virtually friendless in the betting market, the mare Sureness produced a really nice performance to win the 2m2f novice hurdle. Under a double penalty, the daughter of Hurricane Run found a second wind over the final two hurdles to win with a touch of authority. She is typical in her constitution of the majority of Charlie Mann trained individuals and she will surely need a fence before we see her to best advantage, something that makes this performance all the more noteworthy. The Lewes trained Kiama Bay followed her home and when he had gone to the front on the crown of the home bend it looked a short price he would add to his recent, facile handicap hurdle win at Newton Abbot. However, he had nothing left to give when Sureness challenged and if there was one horse I would take from the days racing it would certainly be her, especially given the scope she has to jump a fence in time.