Can Glingerburn Secure Aintree`s Grade Two Novices` Hurdle?

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Published: 09/04/2015
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Most bookmakers are offering the best price of 2/1 on Nicky Richard`s Glingerburn picking up the 2m Grade Two Novices` Hurdle. The elder statesman of the field, the seven-year-old is a full year older than all of his 10 contemporaries in this race but looks good to give handler Richards his first win in the race that has been recently dominated by Nicky Henderson. Four of the last five winners General Miller in 2010, Darlan in 2012, My Tent or Yours in 2013 and Josses Hill last season, have all been saddled by the Lambourn trainer. This year Cardinal Walter (8/1 - Numerous) is his only chance of continuing this streak.

Back to the favourite, Glingerburn has entered the winners enclosure in all four of his starts over hurdles, his versatility been proved by his triumphs over two different distances (16f and 18f) and on both good and good-to-soft ground. Whilst he is making his Aintree debut tomorrow, this uncomplicated type should not be concerned about the change of scenery.

Indeed the James Westoll owned horse has shown gumption enough to win easily by two or three lengths or with a grit and determination to battle out a contested victory. Whilst he beat off Bristol De Mai (third place at Aintree today) by three lengths in a Grade Two at Kelso, he toughed it out to see off favourite Some Buckle by a short head at Doncaster. Glingerburn has shown he has both style and tenacity in his locker and isn`t afraid to use either of them.

Also in the horse`s favour is the fact that he has forged out a relationship with 42-year-old long time jockey Brian Harding. As well as knowing this King`s Theatre-sired mount inside out, Harding`s general horsemanship and experience should keep the favourite from trouble.

Who will be the Northern raider`s biggest competition? His nearest market rival is Qewy for John Ferguson and AP McCoy. The McCoy factor has surely played a part in his price, currently available at 5/1 at bet365 and other bookmakers, the mount hoping to settle a rematch with Henderson`s aforementioned Cardinal Walter.

Whilst the Ferguson entrant ran out the six length winner over 2m at Newbury, he was carrying a burden 6lbs lighter. As a result there should be very little between the 5/1 and 8/1 mounts tomorrow when on terms.

Having said this Qewy had the class and resolve to be at the business end of the Festival`s Supreme Novices` Hurdle. Noel Fehily managed to get him round in a remote fifth but the horse should learn from this experience and continue to improve against what will be a step down in quality.

Paul Nicholls` Vago Collonges is the third horse in the betting and whilst he also lacks the consistency of the favourite, he showed enough when grabbing second place at 2m at Kempton last time out to convince his trainer to try him again at this 16f distance. The Andrea and Graham Wylie charge had previously been trying trips at around 20f.

That second place was his second at Grade Two level which suggests that the six-year-old won`t be out of his depth here. Whether or not the going will be testing enough for the horse is debatable with all of his previous hurdle wins on soft. Regardless, he is sure to give it a good stab at 6/1 (Numerous).

Elsewhere, the best of the rest could be the pair of Jolly`s Cracked It and Commissioned who are 12/1 and 14/1 respectively at bet365. The former managed ninth in the Martin Pipe Conditionals at the Cheltenham Festival last month with Commissioned, the second-string of John Ferguson, coming back from a five month absence.

Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (09/04/2015) but are subject to change.

09/04/2015     © Frixo 2017

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