Twenty-One Line Up For Conditional Jockeys Hurdle

Grand National Meeting

Horse Racing
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Published: 11/04/2015
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A total of 21 runners line up for the last jumps event of the Aintree Grand National meeting. For conditional and amateur jockeys, the class two One Stop Energy Handicap Hurdle is run over 16f with these horses and their riders looking to following the footsteps of such winners as Lifestyle in 2012, Cockney Sparrow in 2013 and last season`s victor Court Minstrel. Nicky Henderson`s One For The Guv`nor is set to go off the 9/2 (bet365) favourite as the handler looks to secure his second win in the last five renewals.

One For The Guv`nor, a novice, has finished first past the post on both of his last two starts. His only other ride over hurdles saw the six-year-old son of Oscar manage to claim second place when just over a length behind Robinsfirth at Exeter over 17f. Robinsfirth has failed to live up to the same potential shown by Henderson`s charge and it may just be that the Lambourn mount missed out on the top prize because he doesn`t run well when too fresh. Nico De Boinville takes the ride on this entrant for the first time and whilst his mount looks like a strong contender, this deep field will surely be a much harder task than his previous victories before which he was the odds-on favourite. Second favourite The Game Changer is much more experienced than his nearest rival in the betting though will be coming back from his tough encounter in the Grade Three Vincent O`Brien at the Cheltenham Festival. Whilst The Game Changer could only manage a ninth place finish on this occasion, the quality of opposition this afternoon is far inferior to that field in comparison. Despite failing to look brilliant all season, even when capturing a Grade C 17f hurdle at Kilbeggan, Gordon Elliott`s charge looks like the class runner of this event and should be taken on cautiously.

The Game Changer can be backed at 8/1 at most bookmakers.

Philip Hobbs` War Sound is near the head of the weights though will be well suited by his jockey`s 7lb allowance. The result of this, and the strong winning relationship between horse and rider, is that War Sound can be picked up at 10/1 at betfair and paddy Power.

War Sound won emphatically on both the outings on which he was accompanied by Ciaran Gethings. His track debut at Exter was taken by 12 lengths (19f) before he secured a 2m novices` hurdle at Chepstow by six lengths despite carrying at least 6lbs more than all of his competition. Whilst these were undoubtedly good performances, he must take to the step up to class two level with aplomb after failing to lay a glove on the main contenders in a listed race at Exeter when accompanied by Richard Johnson.

Maurice Linehan takes the ride on Box Office for Jonjo O`Neill, the only horse in the race for owner JP McManus. The four-year-old will be looking to build upon his seventh place finish in last month`s Grade Three Fred Winter and, at such a young age, this is not impossible. The son of Great Pretender, Box Office can be backed at the best price of 10/1 at bet365 and a number of other bookmakers.

Elsewhere at bigger prices, Little King Robin will have to run off top weight after stealing the Grade Two WKD Hurdle at Down Royal. The seven-year-old mare is up for grabs at 33/1 at most bookies.

Fethard Player can be grabbed at the same price (Numerous) after a trio of strong wins in Ireland in the past two seasons with listed race winner Thorpe a 40/1 price at bet365.

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