Most sports fans have found that betting on their favourite teams or players makes them enjoy the games even more. Take EPL fans as an…
|Lord Snootie||7/17/1||Ante Post
2.20 Haydock Park - Saturday
EW 4 places 1/4
|Place BetPlace Bet|
|Gowel Road||20/120/1||Ante Post
2.20 Haydock Park - Sat 25 Nov
EW 4 places 1/5
|Place BetPlace Bet|
Date of Tips: 20/11/2023
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (16:45 20/11/2023) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
The complexion of the entry list for Saturday’s Betfair ‘Serial Winners’ Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at 2.20 at Haydock Park has changed to some degree, at the five-day confirmations stage. The initial early entry stage featured plenty of highly rated types, who are now withdrawn, and the handicap is due to be headed by the Nicky Henderson-trained Bold Endeavour on 143. Though I’d say both he and stablemate Hyland might be doubtful runners, as they’d prefer better ground ultimately.
Ground which currently is a mixture of ‘soft’ and ‘heavy’, and even though there is minimal rain forecast during the week, surely given the amount of rainfall the north-west has had over the last couple of weeks, we’re going to still be talking about ground with some juice in it, for all that it may not be a bog.
The defection of those highly rated horses has meant that there are a number of lightly-weighted potential improvers lurking towards the bottom of the racecard. Two of which are trained by Messrs named Mullins – Willie and Emmet are set to saddle Fine Margin and Slate Lane respectively.
Of the two, I would much prefer Slate Lane, who has looked like a very, very good horse in three forays over to the UK, and in true Emmet Mullins/Paul Byrne style, has managed to squeeze into a valuable race off a tempting mark, and was well backed ante-post last week.
But there’s a few more lurkers down near the bottom – the likes of Goshhowposh and Dubrovnik Harry make some appeal, but without doubt the horse that makes the most appeal from an ante-post betting perspective at this stage is the Christian Williams-trained Lord Snootie.
It’s been a while since the racing media were able to trot out the ‘target trainer’ line about one of Williams’ big-race winners, but Lord Snootie at 20/1 each-way with Bet365 has the look of a horse that will only go one way in the market between now and race time.
Lord Snootie’s form stands up to the closest scrutiny too, and he has achieved far more than any of the other lightly weighted pretenders. After winning on handicap debut in strong staying fashion at Warwick on very testing ground, he then chased home the potentially top notch Trelawne at Uttoxeter.
Jaunts across the Irish Sea have followed either side of a summer break, and both his Punchestown and Galway runs are strong form, while Lord Snootie was miles better than the bare form of both. At Punchestown, he was held up in rear and kept jumping himself left and wider than ideal, given the first 4 home in the race all scraped the paint the whole way round.
Then at Galway, Lord Snootie was travelling smoothly on the inside approaching the second last, before being squeezed up, unsighted and a mistake lost him 10 lengths in the blink of an eye. The race was won by Buddy One (who I’m convinced Lord Snootie would’ve given a race to), and I urge anyone to witness how easily that horse won at Cheltenham last weekend, and then try and tell me that’s not strong handicap form.
The other horse to back now is one who has proven himself a little more at a higher level, is a very classy type on his day, but still appeals as being unexposed granted this particular type of test. Gowel Road at 20/1 each-way with BetUK is the horse in question, and with regard to the price of both him and Lord Snootie, given they are 20/1 in only one place, I would take 12/1+ about both.
I am a sucker for a Nigel Twiston-Davies horse first time up in a big race, and there is no doubt that Gowel Road will have been prepared for this race, given how valuable it is. Gowel Road only had two starts last season, and didn’t look like a natural chaser on either start, and so it’s notable that the Twiston-Davies clan aim Gowel Road at this race on his first try over 3m and back over hurdles.
Gowel Road has always appealed as a very strong stayer, and won’t mind what the ground does, as he has reproduced his best form on ‘good’ or ‘heavy’. In the 2022 Coral Cup for instance, Gowel Road was one a small handful of horses who were able to still raise a gallop in the closing stages, and in fact he hit the line stronger than anything except the first two home.
Stepping up to a trip that has long been his destiny, Gowel Road at 20/1 each-way with BetUK is surely a slice of value, alongside the 20/1 each-way with Bet365 about Lord Snootie.