The Willie Mullins machine rolls into the UK again this weekend with Un De Sceaux and Vroum Vroum Mag long odds-on to take some readies back to the Emerald Isle.
However, while that pair of Closutton representatives could well be exciting talents in their own rights, at the potential odds they don’t look a whole lot of value.
Ladbrokes’ offer of Money Back if your horse finishes second in any Channel 4 race comes into play at Ascot and Haydock this week, but hopefully that won’t be needed. (Full T&Cs here)
From our three selections last week, one saw money returned as a free bet while Russe Blanc’s success in the Classic Chase provided a very welcome 20/1 winner.
Here’s who we are hoping can bring home the bacon on Saturday.
Nick Williams’ gelding returns to chasing for the first time in over four years at Haydock and looks very well off at the weights in this Grade 2 contest.
He enters this handicap off a mark of 139, some 21lbs lower than his current hurdles mark such has been the success he has shown over the smaller obstacles.
His previous experience over fences was an encouraging one having placed at the Cheltenham Festival off a rating of 140 as a novice and has surely come on leaps and bounds since.
With the ground set to be extremely testing, just as he likes it, if he gets into a rhythm out in front, it is hard to see anything pegging him back.
If horses had middle names, ‘Consistency’ would be Lil Rockerfeller’s with Neil King’s gelding finishing in the first three in nine of his 10 races over hurdles.
He was probably out of his depth last time out when beaten 11 lengths in the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham, but considering he finished ahead of World Hurdle winner Cole Harden on horrible ground, it was a more than satisfactory run.
A victor of a Listed hurdle at Sandown before that he also has course form, smashing subsequent Ladbroke Hurdle dead-heat-winner Stenrubin by six lengths.
He will need a career best to win this off a mark of 151 but the way he knuckled down on his penultimate start suggests this five-year-old is not done improving yet.
The bottomless ground at Haydock will play right to the strengths of another recent Sandown scorer, who loves to get his toe in.
Approaching the second last at Esher last time out, it looked as if the pack were about to swallow up the early front-runner, but he responded gamely to Thomas Gardner’s urgings to pull out more and score by five lengths.
He had Melodic Rendezvous 17 lengths behind that day, and although they meet on level weights here, he remains around double the price.
With the price discrepancy, Captain Conan returning from a break of nearly two years, and The New One always capable of putting in a dodgy jump or two, it could pay for an each-way bet on Oliver Sherwood’s gelding.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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