2.35pm Haydock Tips & Betting Preview 26/03/2016

This should be interesting without a single course winner in the field but we soldier on regardless and start our little break down with the Nicky Richard trained Sir Vinski. His yard have been having their best season for some time and this seven year old added to the tally when scoring last time out at Wetherby in a three mile handicap hurdle off a rating of 120, though it should be noted he did have the speed to win a two mile bumper on good ground on his first start back in March 2014. Most of his racing lately has been on a much softer surface though that may not have been by choice this winter, and he may yet handle the conditions better than some, though whether a twelve pound rise in the weights is fair is open to question, and will certainly make another win that bit more difficult.

Oscar Blue, on the other hand will be hoping to reverse recent form with Caledonia on five pound better terms for eleven lengths – but crucially on this much better going. His best novice form was all on ground with the word Good in the description somewhere, and that may be the key to him this afternoon giving him an outstanding each way chance.

Jim Goldie allows Caledonia to head south from his Renfrewshire base and he is another in with a shout in a race that looks more wide open the deeper we dig in to the form book. He is another who scored last time out, this time at Ayr over this sort of trip, and with his decent enough flat form including a win at Musselburgh suggesting he has a bit of speed about him too, he seems sure to put up a bold showing today with Henry Brooke expected to take the ride.

Much as we don’t have a definitive answer, it does seem harsh that horses who consistently place pick up precious little in prize money yet get handicapped to the hilt, and that may well be the case with the Philip Hobbs trained Sykes. He did win a couple at Aintree and Chepstow and has run well since being put up in the weights but without an ounce of a drop from the dreaded handicapper, which has possibly caused him to struggle. On the bright side his wins and best runs are on faster surfaces than he has met in his last few runs bad the predicted quicker going today may just be enough to get him back on the winning trail.

One more to put forward as an each way option and although Cole Harden disappointed in the World Hurdle, maybe Warren Greatrex can get some small compensation here courtesy of Alzammaar? Just the two runs this season will leave him a lot fresher than most of his rivals today, and his third at Doncaster to Red Devil Boys suggested a return to form is imminent. Whether this is his best trip is the main concern, with all his best races over considerably shorter, but you don’t know until you try and he could yet be the dark horse today.

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