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 and now he is about to go and take on Tiger Roll who is now the 3-1 favourite!


Market Rasen

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 a 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.


2.30: Harambe

3.05: Dartford Warbler



Alan King has been doing tremendous under both codes with six winners on the flat this year at an 18

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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