Date of Tips: 24/04/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:28 24/04/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Today is the last day of the jumps season on these shores, for all that we still have the tantalising prospect of the Punchestown Festival this week over in Ireland, and it will be a day that Harry Skelton will be relishing – as he is crowned champion jockey for the first time.
His battle with the brilliant and much respected Brian Hughes has been captivating, and it was a shame that Hughes didn’t get his day in the sun at Sandown Park this time around, after being robbed of the chance to celebrate with his peers last season.
Skelton has a good book of rides, and they start off with Rockstar Ronnie in the ‘Bet365 Novices’ Championship Final Handicap Hurdle’ at 1.55, but he and others in the race will hopefully have to cede best to the ever-popular Jamie Moore and his mount, Royaume Uni, who at 6/1 each-way with William Hill, who are offering 5 places, is the standout bet of the day.
A very classy flat three-year-old for Andre Fabre in France, Royaume Uni has been expertly handled and placed by Gary Moore to be in tip-top condition and well-handicapped enough to have a crack at two valuable races this spring.
The first part of the plan so nearly landed, when he was a close second to the re-opposing Herbiers in a valuable Ascot handicap hurdle, when perhaps he was a little unlucky not to get as clear a run through as the eventual winner.
Royaume Uni and the Moores can gain ample compensation however, by winning this prize worth nearly £40k to the winner. With a flat handicap rating of 87, he looks very nicely treated off his hurdle mark of 116, which was only raised by three after Ascot.
Sometimes with ex-flat racers, they don’t reach the heights that you could expect over hurdles, on account of not jumping sufficiently well, but that isn’t the case with Royaume Uni. To date, he has been slick over his obstacles, and given he is a four-year-old in against his elders here, he is not only very well handicapped but also in receipt of a handy weight concession.
At 6/1 each-way for five places with William Hill, Royaume Uni is not the 12/1 shot that he was when the market opened up, but nevertheless, still a cracking bet to my eyes.