Tip of the Day: Get On Line
Matt Brocklebank provides the racing tip of the day and he's backing Leighton Aspell to get on the scoresheet at Plumpton.
Leighton Aspell: Rides Minella On Line at Plumpton today
MINELLA ON LINE rates decent value to see off the well-backed Royal Salute at Plumpton this afternoon.
Granted, the latter is bidding for a third straight course and distance success in today's Read Barry Geraghty's Blog On attheraces.com Chase (2.30) and the round of jumping he produced when scoring here late last month was particularly fluent, but he was beating up some pretty modest rivals that day and looks to be facing a classier opponent in the Oliver Sherwood-trained selection.
Royal Salute has also gone up 20lb in the weights since the season began and it could just be that Minella On Line is the better handicapped of the pair, despite being 9lb higher than for his victory at the same track back in November.
That first outing for the Sherwood yard, having previously been trained by Rebecca Curtis, yielded a really taking performance after being heavily supported throughout the day and although the ground was good on that occasion, he's got some smart form on soft from earlier in his career including a clear-cut hurdles success at Chepstow and an eyecatching second off level weights behind the high-class Sausalito Sunrise.
Since Minella On Line's seasonal debut victory he has raced just once, unseating Leighton Aspell when still very much in the hunt as the 9/4 joint-favourite at Lingfield.
The horse he was upsides at the time of departure, Royal Vacation, went on to win the race and has since recorded Grade One glory at Kempton, as well as an impressive victory at Cheltenham on Trials Day.
It's impossible to say whether or not Minella On Line would have gone on to give him a serious race had he stood up but it's highly respectable form, that much is clear.
The eight-year-old still doesn't look the finished article and his tendency to meet the odd fence on the wrong stride remains a slight concern, but it's hoped Sherwood has been working on the horse's jumping in his time away from the track and around the 11/4 mark it looks worth backing him to put in a clear round and show his worth once more.
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