Fourteen horses line up for this competitive Mare’s Handicap Hurdle with £3,249 going to the winner. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Argante was a good performer on the flat when trained in France and should make a decent hurdler for his top yard. He should run a big race if seeing out this trip as should CONTEUR D’HISTOIRE, who shaped like a future winner last time out at Wetherby and he will be very hard to beat today.
1 Alpine Secret – Stowaway gelding who showed some proficiency for this discipline when eighth of 18 on bumper debut at Warwick in March and showed he could make a good hurdler when third on debut at Wincanton (Good/Soft) last month over further. This looks better race but he is open to progress and can fill a place for his in-form yard.
2 Argante – Fair performer on the flat in France winning a couple of races under Eric Libaud before joining Henry Spiller in the UK. Only tried a couple of times over hurdles and second race at Ascot (Good/Soft) last month when sixth of 8 over 1m7f there not as encouraging as his debut third at Newbury (Heavy) back in February. Stayed well over 2m on the flat so that bodes well for seeing this trip out and remains of interest under his master trainer. Each-way claims.
3 Arthur’s Legend – Well beaten in two bumpers at Towcester and Market Rasen in 1m7f and 2m events. Significantly up in trip for hurdles debut and probably best watched for now unless market speaks in his favour – yard had a couple of winners yesterday.
4 Coco Live – Won an Irish point race then sold for £33,000 but chasing debit strewn with errors and looks up against it now back hurdling against some potentially smart performers. Hard to fancy.
5 Conteur D’Histoire – Only four runs so far and seems to be progressing well. Close second behind the well-backed favourite who was completing a double at Wetherby (Soft) over 2m 18 days ago. Should come on for that although hit with a mark of 124 here and needs to show more improvement to take this over longest trip he’s encountered. Yard starting to hit form and has the champion jockey on board.
6 Don Sebastian – High Chapparal gelding who cost 29,000 Euros as a 3-y-o but only £4,500 as a 5-y-o. By an un-raced Dam and related to a few winners on the flat including 5f-1m winner Roman Dream. Tongue-strap on today and form in Irish points is uninspiring for this.
7 Earlshill – Milan Gelding who cost 32,000 Euros as a 3-y-o. Related useful chaser Golden Sunbird and was fairly useful in Irish points, winning in May. Looks promising for his new yard and one to watch.
8 King Golan – Ran in a bumper at Newcastle last month and finished tailed off in eleventh place of 12 runners. Impossible to fancy here judged on that performance.
9 Rocky’s Treasure – One win in points from just one run and a bit green on debut at Hereford (Soft) last month over 2m3f. Slightly up in trip today but going the right way and can get involved if taking the next step.
10 Sandymount – Yeats Gelding who cost 32,000 Euros as a 3-y-o and has joined a op yard. Has showed consistent form in three bumpers so far, the last coming at Bangor when finishing third of 13 runners, a race which has thrown up some winners with the second and fourth going in since. Solid each-way chance for in-form yard but vulnerable to an improver for win purposes.
11 Walter Oneeightone – Cost 50,000 Euros as a 3-y-o and is related to good hurdler Sea Light. Top connections but yard also run Conteur D’Histoire.
12 West Class – Needs to step up markedly from debut fifth under Rules at Catterick 11 days ago. Has won in points but much more needed to figure here for a yard that doesn’t have too many winners here.
13 Woodfort – Dalakhani gelding who had good form in bumpers and scored at second attempt when an easy winner at Ffos Las (Soft) in October. Has always looked as if jumping would be his game and he is dangerous to discount here on hurdles debut for top in-form yard that do well with types from this family. (Non Runner)
14 Undisputed – Previously trained by Stuart Crawford and finished runner-up twice in bumpers in his care at Ayr and Catterick both on heavy ground. Close second on hurdling debut at Market Rasen 38 days ago and should show more here but needs to against better opposition.