herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Rivals won’t reach speed of Sound

PLANET OF SOUND can strengthen Philip Hobbs' exemplary record in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton.

While Planet Of Sound is at the summit of the handicap, Hobbs must have been well satisfied that the assessor left his inmate alone following his Hennessy second.

Moreover, a big weight in this race is rarely a portend of doom, with 10 of the last 13 winners having struck with 11st or more. Although he easily gets three miles, Hobbs' representative is not short of speed, which is such a crucial asset in any Kempton handicap over fences.

The prospect of good ground might also help ease the burden of top weight for Planet Of Sound, whose consistency should guarantee punters a fine run for their dough. Stamina is key at the Betfred Eider at Newcastle, and while Mister Marker perhaps could have done with a little more cut in the ground, he remains a worthy choice for the Nicky Richards team.

The Greystoke handler earmarked this race as the next staging post for the tough eight-year-old immediately after he won with a degree of authority at Ayr in February. Mister Marker has already shown his aptitude for exacting distances when finishing third in the Borders National in December.

He is admittedly 10lb higher here, but has far greater room for improvement than a number of his Eider rivals, who look fully exposed after bruising careers.

Loyalty is quite a confident selection for the Get Your Bet On At bluesquare.com Winter Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield. Derek Shaw's five-year-old is not the highest-rated horse in this field without just cause, having turned in some outstanding efforts last season.

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