Sunday, 23 July 2017

Market Rasen Summer Plate Day: John Constable emerges as outside Champion Hurdle contender

Evan Williams' John Constable has been priced as 33-1 for the Champion Hurdle, after overcoming a 16lb hike to win the Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen.

The six-year-old was raised by the handicapper following his impressive victory in Haydock's Swinton Hurdle.

Yet against some tough opposition he carried top weight to victory, to land the prize by just over two lengths from Dan Skelton's Red Tornado.

"He's a different horse. He's by Montjeu and they can be tricky. He was always a good horse in hiding, but we could never get him to win," Williams told Racing UK.

"He came to life before the Swinton. I wanted to go Royal Ascot with him for the two-mile handicap, but he got balloted out. Then the Flat programme frightened me a bit, so I thought we'd come here.

"He's entered in the Galway Hurdle. I will have to see how he is.

"It's good we've had a warm spring and summer. He loves the sun on his back.

"He's a very good horse when conditions are right and he's in the right frame of mind."

Some bookmakers have shortened John Constable's Champion Hurdle price to as low as 33-1.

Paul Nicholls' may have a top chaser on his hands after Alcala landed the competitive Summer Plate.

Elsewhere on the card the feature race went to Paul Nicholls, as his improving chaser Alcala landed a third straight victory in the Summer Plate.

The improving chaser powered home to enjoy a hard fought success, which impressed jockey Sam Twiston-Davies.

 "He might have gone up a bit too much in the handicap, but he got into a lovely rhythm," jockey Sam Twiston-Davies told Racing Uk.

"They went a good gallop. A fast-run race like this really suits him and he jumps and stays well."

Alcala may target the Galway Plate as he hopes to continue his good form over the summer.

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