A seven race handicap hurdle for conditional jockeys is the order of the day for the first race at Haydock on Friday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: His latest 2nd at Ffos Las marked a change in form for HORSEGUARDSPARADE, who has been raised 4lb for his neck second. He should be able to build upon that run and has to be respected, as the 9lb rise for Bryden Boy makes things a lot tougher for that rival.
1 BRYDEN BOY – Won is style when dismissing his rivals at Uttoxeter earlier this month (2m 7f, Heavy), adding to another win he gained on heavy ground in March at Bangor (2m 3f, Heavy). Definitely a specialist when it comes to tricky conditions, the soft ground will be a plus and he has to be considered, although it’ll be no easy task to win off 12st 1lb.
2 CLANCY’S CROSS – Pulled up and soundly beaten on his last two runs over fences after a year off, so returning to hurdling makes sense. Others do make more appeal though and he is a risky proposition today.
3 ALIANDY – In form at present with four good runs on the bounce, the latest of which when just denied close home at Doncaster earlier this month (2m 3f, Good). Consistency is hard to find in this field so that is certainly reassuring and judging by his pedigree he should stay, so has to enter calculations today.
4 THE ARTFUL COBBLER – Out of form since winning at Leicester back in February (2m 4f, Heavy), pulling up twice before being soundly beaten on his seasonal reappearance at this track in November (2m 6f, Soft). Doesn’t strike as the likely winning today.
5 NEWSWORTHY – Travelled quite well at Taunton on his stable debut for Neil Mulholland but found nothing off the bridle to finish well beaten (2m 3f, Good to Firm). Now dropped to a attractive looking mark and deserves a second look, but it’d have to be taken in confidence that he’ll go back to his best form.
6 HORSEGUARDSPARADE – Ran with credit when being pipped at Ffos Las late last month, just being out gunned in the final 100 yards (2m 7f, Good to Soft), but that effort was his first good effort in a while which was positive. Raised 4lb for that run and will need more for win purposes, but that is entirely possible and needs to be respected today with the inform Jamie Bargary on board taking off a useful 3lb.
7 LEXI’S BOY – Had been running well on the flat and returns to hurdling in an effort to revive as he was decidedly poor when last seen over obstacles back in March. He’s certainly on a good mark if he does return in good form, but is a risk to take and the Donald McCain yard seem to be struggling at present, with him having no guarantee of staying.