Racing Daily with BetVictor – Apr 3

Hurdling titans Buveur D’Air and Faugheen clash in the Aintree Hurdle on Thursday but with all the hype quite rightly surrounding these two, will another of the runners sneak up and surprise them both.  Is it about time Melon got his just desserts!  Connections have a Cheltenham Gold Cup on their mantlepiece and could add this Grade 1.  Melon has finished runner-up in two Champion Hurdles although this season he hasn’t been himself.  He has lost that swagger and ability to travel well and I believe the extra half a mile could do the trick and with BetVictor he is 6-1.  Just to repeat Kemboy is my pick in the Bowl and Aintree is a course which should suit him.

There was a lovely picture on Twitter on Tuesday showing Vintage Clouds ahead of his Grand National date, Sue Smith had put the finishing touches to Trevor Hemmings wonderful grey who is currently 12-1 with BetVictor and now he is about to go and take on Tiger Roll who is now the 3-1 favourite!

Sue Smith has a big chance at Market Rasen in the 3.05 with Dartford Warbler.  Already a winner at the course he likes to dominate from the front.  He showed toughness last time out when he kept battling behind Knockanrawley and Pressurize in a Veterans Chase at Haydock.  That sets a good standard amongst his opponents.  He has shown his liking for the Lincolnshire venue with two wins, a second and at third from five starts.  Danny Cook has a grand association with him with four successes from 19 and his handicap mark has slipped down just sufficiently that he can dominate once more.

Another that I like at Market Rasen is Harambe for Alan King, he runs at 2.30 and is still finding is place over hurdles.  A tidy bumper horse he ran third this time last year at Aintree in the Grade 3 behind Portrush Ted.  His first foray over the hurdles didn’t go so well as he was brought down at the very first hurdle at Chepstow.   Second then at Warwick showed there was not too many ill effects from that but the step up in distance was too much too soon at Newbury.  A very comfortable winner at Kempton on the Saturday of the Cheltenham Festival week, he is now going up again to 2m 2 1/2f, round this course could just be perfect and enable him to utilise his finishing kick well.

Alan King has been doing tremendous under both codes with six winners on the flat this year at a 18% strike rate.  He saddles Long Socks over a mile in Southwell’s 4.55.  The horse had been competing over much further and doing well enough at the course until last time out dropped down to the mile he showed he had the speed and strength.  He could be hard to contain in a similar event.

At Wincanton the default position is to single out all the Paul Nicholls runners and there is nothing wrong with that, his strike rate at his local course is exceptional.  He saddles Saintemilion in the 3.15.  The secret to him may have been found in just five races as having finished runner-up at Hereford he went to score at Exeter last time making all and keeping on well.  Improvement will surely come in this little examination.

Wizards Bridge is a horse I have a soft spot.  Mainly because this time last year he won two races on the bounce and I was on.  He dropped down in distance considerably for his most recent run at Chepstow, it never worked out.  He has won over the shorter trip, but he knows too much and the wily old character is probably best over three miles plus now.  His rating has plummeted since December and surely he has to capitalise soon, maybe in Wincanton’s 3.45.

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