Author: Will Smith
Published: 10:13 20/12/2014
Today’s Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot has been something of a conundrum, and one in which I have been willing to play my cards late. This might mean that we have missed some fancy prices, but in doing so everything seems to be right for the two that I’m keen on.
They are the Irish-trained duo of Clondaw Warrior and Bayan. Watching the racing at the Berkshire track yesterday it was evident that while the ground was soft, it certainly wasn’t as testing as can sometimes be the case at this meeting.
This will be very much to the liking of the Willie Mullins-trained Clondaw Warrior and Bayan, prepared by the ever-impressive big race target man Gordon Elliott.
They represent the two standout pieces of 2m handicap hurdle form coming into the race. Clondaw Warrior was one of three that pulled clear in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham, and can turn around the form with Garde La Victoire in a race that will be run much more to suit Mullins’ vastly improved dual purpose performer. At 7/1 with bet365, who are paying out on 5 places, he is an outstanding bet.
While Bayan was second in the Galway Hurdle and third in the Coral Cup and he is only 5lbs higher than the Galway run. He has a much better chance than 12/1 with Ladbrokes (who pay 5 places) suggests.
There are a few other horses that have caught my eye today, and while there is nothing fancy about their prices, it could be worth chucking them all in an each-way Lucky15 with Bayan and Clondaw Warrior.
Starting off the day well will hopefully be Alan King’s The Tourard Man, in Ascot’s opening race at 12.45, and at 3/1 with 888sport he is incredibly well handicapped on his recent form.
While Houblon Des Obeaux bids to defy the hefty burden of top weight in the 3.00 Silver Cup, a race he won last year from a 9lb lower mark. His gallant run in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury showed that he is arguably that much better this year, and at 4/1 with bet365 he won’t be out of the frame.
The last piece in the jigsaw comes at Haydock, where Run Ructions Run should be a strong favourite for the 2.40 2m 4f handicap hurdle, but is available at a very tempting 4/1 with bet365.
Recommendations – Each-way Lucky15:
Ascot 3.30: Clondaw Warrior – 7/1 (bet365)/Bayan – 12/1 (Ladbrokes)
Ascot 12.45: The Tourard Man – 100/30 (888Sport)
Ascot 3.00: Houblon Des Obeaux – 4/1 (bet365)
Haydock 2.40: Run Ructions Run – 4/1 (bet365)