It’s a typically open, tantalising Ladbroke Hurdle and I've 3 horses who look really solid options at the prices but can’t put them all up. Personally I’m on Vicenzo Mio from a while back and still think he’s a decent bet at a little shorter. He needed his reappearance at Sandown and think he’d have wanted more pace last time when travelling well but getting carried wide before a slight error at the last. Not that he’d have won with a better jump, but this may just suit him better. So too Some Plan from that Sandown race who was sent off favourite. He travelled very kindly before finding little, a little like Vicenzo Mio on his reappearance. The Nicholls horses weren’t seeing races out especially well at that time and I think both his charges have excellent chances this afternoon. With Some Plan being eased in the handicap and the openness from the yard that all the Brookhouse horses are likely to improve for their first runs, he just about gets the vote. Tom George always suggested a big field with pace would suit him and he’ll get that this afternoon, though I never like horses to get too far back in this. That’s not normally him and last time, in a first time hood, may have been educational more than anything.
Also going up is Unanimite for another yard in better form than when we last saw this horse. He would have won with a better jump at the last here last time and got the worst of the trips between the first 3 that day. How Jolly’s Cracked It is a quarter the price I’m not sure. It may be a ground thing as Unanimite has saved his best for good ground but given the mild weather it may not be too bad underfoot and he’s definitely worth supporting. I fancy he’s strengthened up a fair bit over the summer break and is entitled to come on for his return for which a 4lb rise looks fair enough. The yard know how to win this too.
Dynaste is tempting at a price back over hurdles but whether he will be quick enough through the air against some of these remains to be seen. It’s worth a go but Thistlecrack is a tough nut. A dour stayer, his trainer thinks he’ll come on a bundle for his winning reappearance and his Aintree and Punchestown novice form is pretty impenetrable. I’m not sure he has to step up on that to win this, for all last time may not be a race to put too much faith in the form given the obvious disappointments. As far as another bet on the day goes, The Young Master must have a great chance of following up his win last year at Ascot but last year’s 2nd and the winner 2 years ago, Houblon Des Obeaux is a well treated horse and I’m inclined to forgive him his reappearance in the Hennessy when never really travelling. He obviously likes it here and looks overpriced off the back of one disappointing effort. I thought he ran respectably on reappearance here given the ground and way the race was run. He could probably do with the ground not drying out too much here but is worth a play at the prices either way, particularly with the useful Charlie Deutsch taking off 5lb.