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Friday 3 April 2015

Connolly’s Red Mills “Precision Nutrition” Series Handicap Hurdle Final

The Connolly’s Red Mills “Precision Nutrition” Series Handicap Hurdle Final, run over 2 miles 4 furlongs at Haydock Park (2.35), may not be as competitive, numerically, as some other races of its kind, but still has the potential for a ‘surprise’.

Thundering Home (22/1) has done all his winning on good to soft, or softer, going, but ran creditably in defeat on his first attempt beyond 2 miles 3 furlongs, on good going, at Kempton three weeks ago. The Storming Home gelding could only keep on at one pace when fifth of seventeen, beaten 13½ lengths, behind Theinval on that occasion, but the return to rain-softened ground on a more galloping track could show him in a better light this time. Jockey Tom Bellamy has a healthy 5-13 (38%) strike rate on Richard Mitchell’s hurdlers over the last five seasons, for a level stakes profit of 63.00 points, so it’s not difficult to envisage Thundering Home running well again.

Uisge Beatha (22/1) ran below par when only fifth of six, beaten 29 lengths, behind Derrintogher Bliss at Newcastle six weeks ago, but had previously been progressing well and is another who looks a shade overpriced. The horse that beat him at Musselburgh on his penultimate start, Shanroe Santos, was thought good enough to contest the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and, although still 12lb higher in the weights than when winning a 0-120 contest at the same course in January, he could still be open to further improvement.

The bookmakers bet 7/1 the field, in a place, and it’s difficult to find anything else that qualifies as a true ‘outsider’, so we’ll settle for just the two selections this week. In order of preference, they are Thundering Home (22/1 with Bet365 and Betvictor) and Uisge Beatha (22/1 with Bet365, Sky Bet and Betvictor). Good luck!