Both Hills and Ladbrokes have gone 12/1 the field this morning and that is a more realistic price for long time ante-post favourite On His Own who runs off the same mark as when coming down at Becher’s second time last year.
The winner of a Grade 2 hurdle on his sole start since, he looked a natural over these fences until coming down last year and, granted a bit of luck in running, he looks sure to run a big race. You have the option of taking 12/1 with either Hills or Ladbrokes, or taking 10/1 with Bet Victor who are paying 6 places to each-way terms, as opposed to four places with the other two firms.
Last year’s placed horses Sunnyhillboy, Seabass and Cappa Bleu all warrant respect, while Teaforthree and Imperial Commander appeal as the type to take to this unique course. Of the pair, former Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander is just favoured, given the handicapper has given him a chance on a mark of 158.
He made a fine return to action at Cheltenham in January when runner-up to Cape Tribulation and the drying ground won’t be an issue. The second selection is trading at 18/1 this morning.
The winner of the Aintree Hurdle on Grand National day back in 2010 Solwhit (2:50) is taken to follow up his World Hurdle success in this afternoon’s John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle.
The nine-year-old has now won seven Grade 1s and has plenty of form behind Hurricane Fly over shorter in Ireland. He showed he stays this trip when scoring at Cheltenham, albeit in a fairly slowly run contest, and this sharper track should be even more to his liking.
Ideally he would prefer easier ground, but he has form on the Flat on good ground and it isn’t too much of a concern. The selection is trading at 5/2 this morning, ahead of World Hurdle placed horses Celestial Halo and Smad Place, while Grands Crus is the potential fly in the ointment on his return to hurdles. Runner-up to Big Buck’s in this a couple of years ago, he has plenty to prove but certainly has the ability to play a hand this afternoon.
Earlier on the card the opening Mersey Novices’ Hurdle doesn’t look as strong an event as usual and another chance is given to Eduard (1:45) who disappointed last time, but could improve for the step up in trip and meeting better ground.
Given the way he travels, this track ought to suit and his form earlier in the campaign, especially when a close up third behind Melodic Rendezvous at Cheltenham, gives him sound claims here. With Bet365 offering ¼ odds and the dead 8 going to post, he looks worth supporting each-way in an open looking renewal.
AP McCoy enjoyed a good day for his boss JP McManus yesterday winning aboard novice hurdlers My Tent Or Yours and At Fishers Cross and the champion jockey can strike again this afternoon aboard Cantlow (3:25) who is another worthy of each-way support in a race McCoy and McManus won in 2007 and 2009.
Forced to miss the Byrne Group Plate having burst a blood vessel beforehand, he had earlier made up in to a useful novice chaser, beating Oscara Dara at Plumpton and by a wide-margin at Taunton.
The eight-year-old has been crying out for a step up in trip and the best of his hurdles form is on good ground, when runner-up in the Grade 1 Sefton here two years ago and third in last year’s Pertemps Final at Cheltenham. The selection is trading at 6/1 this morning.
The concluding bumper looks a cracker and Tistory is very much one to note despite more than a year off, but his price has already halved overnight and this looks a warm event, with Dakar Run and Quickpick Vic another couple to note.
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Last Year’s Book Results – Leading Prospects:
- SPRINTER SACRE – Unbeaten – winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- SIMONSIG – Winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- CINDERS AND ASHES – 10/1 winner of Supreme Novices Hurdle
- BOBS WORTH – 9/2 winner of the RSA Chase
- MENORAH & SILVINIACO CONTI – Both Aintree Winners
- SIR DES CHAMPS – Unbeaten inc 3/1 Jewson Cheltenham Winner
- FINGAL BAY – Won 4 times inc Challow Hurdle
- RAYA STAR – 10/3 winner at Wetherby, 12/1 Ladbroke Hurdle winner, 15/2 Scottish Champion Hurdle winner
- AMBION WOOD – 14/1 EBF Final Sandown winner
- CHAMPION COURT – 6/1 G2 Dipper Novices Chase winner
- PALACE JESTER – 14/1 winner at FFos Las
- SWINCOMBE FLAME – Hat-trick winner inc Lanzarote Hurdle at 9/2
- TEAFOR THREE – 5/1 NH Cheltenham Chase winner (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)