Alan had one winner and one in second to kick off his week in the tipping hot seat. Today he has two more from Haydock…
Not Normal ran well in defeat at Bangor last time
I was quite taken by the run of Not Normal last time out at Bangor, where Emma Lavelle‘s five-year-old was only beaten by a very decent type in the shape of Shantaluze, who has now won three of her four starts.
There have been two subsequent winners that have come out and won after that Bangor race, making her second place finish even more acceptable. Not Normal’s first start over hurdles was after almost a year off the track andshe was hampered and unseated Aiden Coleman at the first fence so we can disregard that run. Prior to hurdling, she was placed in two bumpers that she ran in earlier in the year and I think she has a good chance of getting her head in front of her rivals today.
Muratello has the potential to be above average on his French form but this is his first start in the UK for Nigel Twiston-Davies and its hard to assess exactly how good that French form is. Keep Rolling is another that has to be respected from the Philip Hobbs yard after winning his bumper at Warwick but this is the first time he will have encountered hurdles in public and therefore also has something to prove. Of the three at the head of the market I think Not Normal has the better profile and is the selection.
Ecu De La Noverie can continue his progress today
Since arriving from France Ecu De La Noverie has run twice in the UK for Philip Hobbs, initially finishing first at Newbury where he had to dig deep after being headed 100yds out by the very decent Mister Fischer (who came out and won a Class 2 at Kempton on Boxing Day) but he rallied gamely to lead again at the post under todays jockey 5lb claimer David Maxwell.
His second start in the UK was in handicap company where he finished a respectable second off a mark of 130, the third horse home that day though franked the form by winning on Friday at Leicester.
I think that form stands up in this race and those two starts over hurdles will have sharpened him up. He returns to the larger obstacles today and has winning form over fences in France, so going over the larger obstacles shouldn’t be too much of a surprise for him. The two that might cause him problems are Venetia Williams runner Didero Vallis and Donald McCain‘s charge Hills of Dubai. The former has an extra 3lbs to carry today for his win last time out and Hills of Dubai for me is better over further so he could be outpaced here.
2018 Overall (prior to this week): +80.04pts
This week so far…
Staked: 2 pts
Returned: 2.25 pts
2017 P&L +53.30pts
2016 P&L +15.23pts