Betting Tips Swinton Handicap Hurdle

Pertemps Network Swinton HandicapPertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle 2m Haydock Saturday – Paul Nicholls has yet to add a Swinton Hurdle to his outstanding C.V. but went close last year with the 5yo, Set To Go who finished second to Paul Webber’s Gwafa. He tries again with two likely looking types, the 5yo Zubayr, and the year older High Secret, and both have plenty to recommend them. The former looked an unlucky loser of The Scottish Champion Hurdle three weeks ago, where despite meeting the last all wrong, he was only beaten a short head. Only 4lbs higher on Saturday compensation may well await.

The year older Novice, High Secret, is a very solid performer on the flat, winning six of his seventeen starts at distances from 12f to 17f. He finished a close 4th in the 14f sixteen runner handicap, The Old Borough Cup over the course in 2015, strongly suggesting that Saturday’s large field should hold no fears. He is beginning to look just as talented over the smaller obstacles. He has won two of his four starts, and last time put up a noteworthy performance when finishing 4th in an Aintree Grade1. The handicapper hasn’t exactly been generous giving him a mark of 141 and a racing weight of 11-9 but the 6yo has plenty of pace and will be well suited by a fast run contest at the weekend. I feel that there will be plenty more to come from this very genuine animal in his new discipline and is shortlisted.

Last years Scottish Champion Hurdle winner Ch’Tibello, could only finish third in last years renewal, but Master Trainer Skelton looks to have a very strong hand this time with his three 5yo’s, Optimus Prime, Red Tornado, and Mohaayed.

dan skelton swinton

Trainer Dan Skelton has a strong trio for Saturday’s race

The former, a six figure purchase from France where he was a dual winner over hurdles, including at Listed level looked as if he might justify his purchase price when finishing a close second in a Huntingdon Class2 on his debut for the stable. However he disappointed at Musselburgh three months later when pulled up but we got an idea of what he might be capable of next time in the very valuable Betfair Hurdle at Newbury seven weeks ago. Fitted with a tongue strap for the first time he was travelling strongly coming to the second last only to be badly hampered by a faller. It is hard to say what the probable outcome may have been but it is fair to say that he would have at least been involved in the finish. He comes here a fresh horse and racing off the same mark as Newbury has to be considered.

Stable companion Mohaayed is a very likeable type who always seems to run his race but unfortunately pays the price. He has gone up 2lbs for finishing 2nd in last months Scottish Champion Hurdle and is 3lbs higher than his mark in the County Hurdle at The Festival where he finished 7th. He deserves to win a decent prize but looks handicapped to the hilt.

The talented Welsh trainer, Evan Williams has won this twice in the last five years so certainly knows what is required and is represented by the 10yo, Court Minstrel, and the 6yo John Constable. The former races off a mark of 144 making him joint top weight with 11-12 but he did win the Chepstow Silver Trophy off a 5lbs higher mark in 2015. He has failed to hit the back of the net in his subsequent ten races but ran well last time, beaten only 4 3/4L in the County Hurdle when finishing 10th. He races on Saturday off a 1lbs lower mark and is worth a second look.

John Constable fell at the last having been headed at Aintree last time and off a 5lbs higher mark on Saturday is hard to fancy.

Nicky Henderson won this twice with Eradicate in 2010 and 2012 and with the 6yo Peace And Co has a very well handicapped animal to go to war with. The French bred son of Falco looked destined for the top when winning the 2015 Triumph Hurdle but was a bitter disappointment in his second season. However the Handicapper has taken note and dropped him from a high of 159 to Saturday’s mark of 144. Following a 13 month break he reappeared in the Scottish Champion Hurdle three weeks ago, and ran a race full of promise. He travelled really well throughout and despite losing a shoe finished 6 3/4L behind in 10th. His owners  Munir and Souede are great supporters of the Winter Game and have had a great season. Peace And Co might just put the icing on the cake.

Selection : High Secret
E.W.          : Peace And Co

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Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Tips

Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Swinton Hurdle) 1m 7 1/2f Haydock Saturday

Last week’s selection in the 1000gns, Lumiere, ran no sort of race, and looked as if she didn’t stay, but fortunately, our E.W. selection, Alice Springs ran a super race to finish 3rd at odds of 16/1. She has grown into a big impressive looking filly and with her pedigree is certainly one to keep in mind when tackling further. (The Irish Oaks?)

We are back over the sticks this week with a look at the Swinton Hurdle and it looks a wide open contest.

Philip Hobbs, who has won the race twice before, (including last year) has three entries and at the time of writing the two to concentrate on are last year’s hero, War Sound, and Wait For Me. The former took last year’s renewal off a mark of 140 when a well supported 6/1 chance but is now 8lbs higher, and hasn’t run since finishing down the field at Newbury on heavy ground in mid February. Saturday’s ground should be much more suitable, and it is a race where previous winners have performed well on their return, so his chance is respected.

Wait For Me ran a fine race in The County Hurdle at the Festival for a novice, having only his fourth run over the smaller obstacles. Backed in to 7/1 joint favourite from 11/1 on the day, he was held up towards the rear, crept into the contest, and stayed on to finish 4th. The hurly burly of Saturday’s contest should hold no fears for him, and off the same mark as Cheltenham, has a lot to recommend him.

Welsh maestro, Evan Williams has also trained the winner twice, in 2014 and 2013, and indeed his 2013 winner Barizan was placed 2nd last year. It would seem that Williams targets the race so his contender John Constable is of special interest. This decent flat racer, (rated92) put up an eye catching performance on only his third run over hurdles at Newbury last November. In a Class1 handicap he finished 2nd to Sternrubin and had Saturday’s opponent, and likely favourite Ch’tibello five lengths back in third. John Constable has disappointed in his two subsequent races but the yard has been badly out of form. He now meets Ch’tibello on 3lbs better terms than Newbury, and as the stable has had a winner this Tuesday he’s one to keep on the right side of.

The Paul Webber trained 5yo novice Gwafa was taking a huge step up in class when contesting the Grade1 novice hurdle at Aintree but was badly hampered at the 4th and unseated his rider. He had won his two previous races very easily at Fakenham and Huntingdon,so this 92 rated flat racer may have got in lightly off a mark of 137 and is worth a second look.

Paul Nicholls has never won the race but seems to be making a serious attempt with three runners this year. His 5yo, All Yours, probably represents his best chance of correcting this particular blot on the Nicholls C.V. The winner of the Grade1 novices event at last years Aintree festival, (April 2015) he has had a very easy time of it since, running only twice. He was a well beaten 5th behind stablemate Irving at Wincanton in November, and wasn’t seen again until running in the County Hurdle in March where he ran better than his finishing place of 12th would indicate. Well suited by a flat track and reasonably treated off a mark of 145 it will come as no surprise to see him involved at the business end.

Robert Stephen’s 5yo Beltor has attracted some interest in the market and actually beat All Yours easily on only his second race over hurdles, at Kempton 14 months ago. His two subsequent efforts, in the 2015 Triumph Hurdle, and the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle last November, have been disappointing and I just wonder does he need to go right handed.

The other trainer who can boast two previous wins is Nicky Henderson and his 7yo Cardinal Walter, despite failing to hit the back of the net for 14 months is interesting. His win in a novice hurdle at Doncaster in Febuary 2015 was achieved with consummate ease and his 3rd to Saturday’s opponent Shrewd at Musselburgh this Febuary was a pretty decent effort. He meets the winner on 14lbs (excluding Shane Shortalls 5lbs claim on the winner) for the 2 3/4L beating and as his jumping wasn’t the most fluent things could be a lot closer between them on Saturday.

Dan Skelton runs his Scottish Champion Hurdle winner, Ch’tibello and he must have a serious chance off just a 6lbs higher mark. At Ayr he showed a great change of gears between the bypassed third, and second last flights, and despite a mistake at the last the result was never in doubt. This was his first run for five months so further improvement can be expected, and with Saturday’s ground likely to be even more suitable he has an awful lot going for him.

Selection : Ch’tibello

E.W. : All Yours