I ALWAYS find this a tricky race to be confident about my choices, largely because the horses are young in hurdling terms and can improve so much since their last run. There are plenty of unknown elements to the race.
I have picked two against the field here both of which I think have a decent each-way chance.
4.40 – Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
– Run over 2 miles
– Only 4 year old horses can enter
– Aimed principally at juveniles that aren’t quite good enough for the Triumph Hurdle
Each way selection: Thunder Zone
Aside from the cracking name, this horse has shown some solid form over in Ireland. Gordon Elliott is a trainer I really admire and the form of Thunder Zone's last run when he was second to Kitten Rock took a boost on Tuesday when Kitten Rock ran so well in the Champion Hurdle. With Bryan Cooper on board there is a lot to like about this one.
Each way selection: Baron Alco
The form of his last race in December isn’t great but he didn’t travel well at all and might have been much closer to the winner if he had settled better into the race. He hasn’t been seen since and if the horse has developed over the last few months he could be nicely handicapped for this one at a big price.
The Thunder Zone – 1 point each way at 16-1 with Totesport
Baron Alco – 1 point each way at 20-1 with Totesport