At The Races expert Declan Rix talks us by means of Saturday’s Howden Long Walk Hurdle from Ascot, stay on Sky Sports Racing.
Champ (Nicky Henderson)
High-class chaser in current seasons who reverts to hurdles having had again points. Certainly adequate to win if proper, however that is his first begin of the marketing campaign and in current seasons, has seemed extra snug going left-handed. Market ought to give a clue about his health/wellbeing.
Lisnagar Oscar (Rebecca Curtis)
The 2020 Stayers’ Hurdle winner, however his type since has been a bit hit-and-miss. Disappointed final day trip however had excuses having misplaced a shoe and banged himself. Will be happier getting again onto a slower floor, and any rain would assist, however he is proving onerous to catch of late.
On The Blind Side (Nicky Henderson)
Likable and reliable sort who has been slowly progressive every season. Despite being a big drifter in the betting for his marketing campaign reappearance, ran effectively underneath a penalty in a race the place he possible acquired racing sooner than superb. Entitled to strip fitter for that and appears overpriced (16/1), particularly if he will get a greater tactical journey this time.
Paisley Park (Emma Lavelle)
Formerly excellent staying hurdler, however at the age of 9, is beginning to look regressive. His type dipped final season and in his two runs this marketing campaign, he has upset, though possibly did not like front-running final day trip.
Given his bulk and measurement, possibly he’ll strip fitter this time. Will love getting again onto a extra stamina-demanding course, and you’re at the very least getting a value about him for a change, however he is onerous to suggest on current proof.
Ronald Pump (Matthew Smith)
Likable, strong-staying type however has a contact of sophistication. Started his season properly behind Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle over an insufficient journey so will love stepping as much as three miles once more.
Could possibly have completed with extra tempo in the race to deliver his stamina out, however both approach, should be revered.
Third Wind (Hughie Morrison)
Has been progressive and reliable in current seasons, and as a seven-year-old, is entitled to get higher once more, having solely competed 14 occasions. Was a well-held fifth in this race final yr, however did beat Lisnagar Oscar and On The Blind Side on his subsequent begin in the Rendlesham Hurdle.
Looks a contact overpriced at 33/1, however whereas he has gone effectively recent in the previous, he would have been of extra curiosity with a runner underneath his belt.
Thomas Darby (Olly Murphy)
In a first-time tongue-tie bagged the Grade Two Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury final day trip, though there’s a small suspicion he picked up the items in a race the place he did not carry a penalty.
His career-best effort got here at this course in January 2020, and whereas worse off at weights with On The Blind Side and Paisley Park, is considered one of the extra possible winners if on a going day once more. Fergus Gregory rides in his first Grade One.
Thyme Hill (Philip Hobbs)
High-class hurdler who was mugged by Paisley Park in this race final yr, having idled when he hit the entrance. Missed the Stayers’ Hurdle by means of a small setback, however made amends at Aintree, successful their Grade One Stayers Hurdle.
Was set a really tough job on seasonal debut going to France on heavy floor, however whereas the case, he was nonetheless disappointing. Now with a run underneath his belt, getting again on a firmer floor are two positives.
There would not look to be a variety of tempo on, particularly if Paisley Park reverts to extra affected person ways, with front-running presumably not suiting him final day trip. As the market suggests, Thyme Hill (7/4) is the most probably winner, however I’ve little curiosity in backing a horse at that value on the again of a disappointing run.
The market ought to information on the subject of Champ, however Ascot might not swimsuit him. Thomas Darby presumably had his day in the solar final day trip, whereas Paisley Park (wears first-time tongue-tie) is wanting regressive. Lisnagar Oscar will love getting again on softer floor, however would not look in adequate type at the second.
It leaves me with two choices, On The Blind Side, who might get the run of the race and Irish raider, Ronald Pump. At the costs, 16/1 and seven/2 respectively, I’m completely happy to again each ON THE BLIND SIDE and RONALD PUMP.
The former is actually overpriced at 16/1, particularly as he may presumably get a straightforward lead. I might have been extra assured on sooner floor. Some bookmakers are paying 4 locations.
Ronald Pump comes right here on the again a strong effort behind Honeysuckle, is entitled to enhance for that and is a horse I can see having fun with the calls for of Ascot.