A wonderful weekend of racing with the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run making his seasonal reappearance at Haydock in the Betfair Chase against rivals including 2010 Hennessy winner Diamond Harry and the recent Charlie Hall 1-2 Weird Al and Time For Rupert. Add the evergreen and quite brilliant dual former Gold Cup winner Kauto Star and you have the makings of an absolute cracker.
We are betting both with and without Long Run given the Henderson animal is 8/11 to make a winning reappearance. The betting without is at least as interesting:
Betfair Chase: Betting without Long Run; prices from
Diamond Harry 2/1
Kauto Star 11/4
Weird Al 11/4
Time For Rupert 7/2
Pure Faith 33/1
Kauto Star has been one of the greats of the turf and it would be wonderful if he could pull off what would be his third win in the race although he also unseated at the last back in 2008.
I think Time For Rupert might be the one to serve it to Long Run at Cheltenham in March but first time out is the time to catch Diamond Harry (3.05) and he is the recommendation in the betting without Long Run.
There is a cracking and ultra competitive Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle and the Paul Nicholls’ trained Robinson Collonges is sure to be popular having ran very well at Chepstow on his reappearance; he remains well handicapped on his chase form but his connections will be factored into the price and he is overlooked.
Emma Lavelle has her string in fine form and she saddles one of the few potential improvers in the field in the shape of the lightly-raced Highland Valley (2.30) who was outclassed at Cheltenham in the Neptune over 2m 5f when last seen back in March. These Hurdles take some jumping at Haydock and he is worthy of each way support at 12/1.
Henry Brooke takes off a valuable 5lbs from Any Given Day (12.50) and the top-weight could just be up to the task for Donald McCain although the race sponsors are represented by Indian Daudaie who must go close having run well at both the Cheltenham & Aintree Festivals back in the spring. He is sure to go off favourite and may, indeed, be a class apart but he will be backed accordingly and in another competitive event Any Given Day gets the vote.
Morning Moment (1.55) jumped superbly when winning at Haydock’s last meeting and a 5lb rise is fair although he has nothing in hand at the revised weights with Eyre Square.
I am looking forward to the reappearance of Mostly Bob (3.40) in the finale for Philip Hobbs; the forecast good ground looks ideal for this 8-y-old who didn’t exactly finish last season on a high, but there was enough evidence previously to suggest he could make up into a decent staying chaser this term.
The excellent Overturn swerves Haydock to bid for the Ascot Hurdle and he must go close but I have long been a fan of Oscar Whisky (2.45) who must be the selection despite giving weight to the other principles; 3rd in the Champion Hurdle he was an impressive winner at Aintree stepped back up in trip and the hope is that his jumping holds up on ground that is likely to be plenty quick enough for him.
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