|Incertaine - 1.00 Market Rasen||15/2||Bethard|
|With Pleasure - 1.10 Wincanton||9/1||Coral|
|Buster Valentine - 2.05 Market Rasen||4/1||Bet365|
|Saint De Reve - 2.50 Wincanton||7/4||Ladbrokes|
|Ugo Du Misselot - 3.35 Thurles||8/1||BoyleSports|
Tip 1 - Incertaine - 1.00 Market Rasen
Trainer Tom Gretton operates at a 6% win-rate and a 16% place rate, but when his runners are ridden by Brian Hughes this shoots up to 24% win-rate and an 81% place rate! Together they have won five times from 21 outings, with only four finishing outside the first three.
Today they team up with Incertaine, who having never worn any headgear, is now fitted with a tongue tie, hood and cheekpieces altogether for the first time, in a bid to improve her performance as she steps up in trip to 2m7f.
She has not won in five hurdle outings, but has mainly raced over 2m4f or shorter and is a half-sister to three winners, who all won over 2m5f+ and have achieved ratings well over 124. Incertaine is running off merely 85 today.
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Tip 2 - With Pleasure - 1.10 Wincanton
Trainer John Flint books conditional Ben Jones for the first time on With Pleasure in this 2m4f handicap hurdle. He's a young rider going places, who boasts a record of 19/65 (29%) in handicaps, and takes a valuable 5lbs of weight off.
That means With Pleasure carries 11st 4lbs, and is effectively rated just 92, having been second in handicaps off 104, 105 and 106. Last time out he was well-beaten, but in a 0-125 hurdle. Today's test is confined to those rated 100 or less, making it much weaker.
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Tip 3 - Buster Valentine - 2.05 Market Rasen
Buster Valentine made a really encouraging chasing debut last time out, even though he finished last. The distance of 2m was slightly inadequate, and he was travelling the best down the back straight.
He hit the front on the turn in, but lacked the pace of proper two milers and emptied quickly. He jumped like a stag during that race at Carlisle and steps up to a more suitable 2m5f at Market Rasen.
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Tip 4 - Saint De Reve - 2.50 Wincanton
Trainer Paul Nicholls has won the last three runnings of this novices' hurdle and won it five times in the last seven years. Today it's Saint De Reve who is charged with making it four in a row.
He showed promise in bumpers but has always been a staying chasing prospect and that was evident when he was stepped up to 2m5f for his hurdling debut at Exeter earlier this month.
Despite getting outpaced, he stayed on well late to finish third. That was a good race, including some smart prospects, so he did well, but Nicholls' horses are improving massively from their first runs, so he should go closer here.
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Tip 5 - Ugo Du Misselot - 3.35 Thurles
Trainer Willie Mullins's Asterion Forlonge is a very short-priced favourite for this bumper, but it is two years since he last ran, in a point-to-point. I prefer to take him on with Ugo Du Misselot, whose trainer Tim Hyde is 5/31 in bumpers in the last five years, just 10 of those 31 finishing outside the first four. He’s also 1/1 in bumpers at Thurles.
Ugo Du Misselot was well-backed when falling in a point-to-point he was going to win. The horse that did win sold for £115,000, so the Hyde family will be hoping their five-year-old can win here to secure a similar payday.
His bumper debut came at the Punchestown festival, where he was backed from 25/1 into 9/1. He raced prominent for a long way, then faded to be beaten 35 lengths. This bumper is not in the same league.
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