X

Tuesday 24
April

Horse Racing Previews

Harry to defend Long Walk crown

13th January 2018, 15:01 by Will Rooney

The Long Walk Hurdle is the showpiece contest on a cracking day of racing and the nine-runner field means it should make for a competitive affair.

Harry Fry will be hoping his stable star UNOWHATIMEANHARRY can bounce back to winning ways in the three miles contest. The son of Sir Harry Lewis tops BTO+ ratings heading into it and is also well clear on official ratings. On his day, there aren't many better staying hurdlers than Unowhatimeanharry and his eight-race winning streak highlighted that. The nine-year-old was unable to clinch a second Cheltenham Festival win when he was third to Nichols Canyon in the Stayers' Hurdle last term but got his revenge at Punchestown next time out. Unowhatimeanharry has proved this season that he can still mix it with the best, despite touching 10 years of age. Giving weight away, Fry's charge battled to a one-and-a-quarter length success at Aintree in November, with Top Notch since coming out and winning the Peterborough Chase. The JP McManus-owned gelding was forced to play bridesmaid last time out - but not to the horse expected. Unowhatimeanharry got the better of the returning Thistlecrack in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury but was scalped by shock winner Beer Goggles. Nevertheless, the gelding returns to a circuit he knows well and won this race last season. What's equally impressive is when Fry and jockey Barry Geraghty team up at Ascot they boast a perfect 100% better than expected strike rate together.

LIL ROCKEFELLER is a warrior and constantly lauded for his heroics. Neil King's charge always runs his heart out and he's developed into a highly useful sort. The son of Hard Spun finished ahead of Unowhatimeanharry in the Stayers' Hurdle in March, running a gallant second that day. Lil Rockerfeller clearly needed the run in the West Yorkshire Hurdle on his seasonal reappearance at Wetherby and greatly came on for the effort. Last time out the five-year-old delivered a career-best run to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths. Lil Rockerfeller could easily improve for that effort and i stepping back up in trip. King means business when he sends runners to Ascot and shows a 96% better than expected win rate at the course.

The horse that finished behind Lil Rockerfeller last time was L'AMI SERGE. The son of King's Theatre displayed plenty of potential as a novice but suffered a slight blip in form when he was sent over fences. Nevertheless, he's starting to recapture his best form having finished second in the County Hurdle at the Festival then winning the Select Hurdle on the final day of the campaign. Nicky Henderson's charge also collected the valuable Haies D'auteuil Hurdle at Auteuil yet was scalped last time by Lil Rockerfeller. The seven-year-old reopposes on level weights, however, after being forced to concede six pounds in the Coral Hurdle and things should be closer.

Henderson has also managed to get the best out of THOMAS CAMPBELL. The son of Yeats has really kicked on as a second-seasoner chaser and stuck on gamely to win a Cheltenham handicap on heavy ground last time out. He has the scope to improve and is second-best rated on BTO+ figures. Thomas Campbell will be in the hands of Nico De Boinville and he shows a 17% better than expected strike rate riding for Henderson.

SAM SPINNER created a buzz after a rampant success at Haydock last time. Jedd O'Keefe's charge overcame the heavy ground at Haydock last time to hack up by 17 lengths in the Betfair Stayers' Handicap Hurdle, with THE WORLDS END back in eighth. As a result, the son of Black Sam Bellamy takes his place at the top table and would revel on the ground if there's much rain.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Will Rooney

More Horse Racing Previews

Horse Racing Previews

Who Dares Wins At Huntingdon

24th April 2018, 09:30

Young Chaser To Take Stepping Stone On Way To Better Things

Horse Racing Previews

We're At Crosse Purposes In Yorkshire

23rd April 2018, 09:19

Dixon Sprinter Ready To Fire Home

Horse Racing Previews

Have A Little Faith In Appleby Sprinter

21st April 2018, 07:57

In Form Eight Year Old Ready To Win Again

Horse Racing Previews

Back To Favourite Course For Ten Year Old

20th April 2018, 10:15

Quick Return To Produce Win For Morgan Veteran

Horse Racing Previews

Second To Be First At Ripon

19th April 2018, 10:21

Conditions Suit Progressive Three Year Old In Handicap

Horse Racing Previews

Frost And Good Ground Point To A Winner At Cheltenham

18th April 2018, 10:14

Conditions Fine For A Night Of Love

Recent Sport Headlines

Watford

Pereira ready for first-team opportunity

24th April 2018, 19:43

Watford Under-23 star Dion Pereira insists he will do all he can in the summer to force his way into the first-team squad.

Swansea City

Rangel hoping for final push from fans

24th April 2018, 19:38

Swansea defender Angel Rangel has urged the club's supporters to get behind their side as they take on Chelsea this weekend.

Bournemouth

Cherries striker set for summer exit

24th April 2018, 19:26

Lewis Grabban seems set to leave Bournemouth in the summer regardless of whether or not Aston Villa attempt to sign him outright.

Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield won't be signing former midfielder

24th April 2018, 19:21

Scott Arfield seems unlikely to make a return to Huddersfield this summer as reports claim he is set to join Rangers.

Atletico Madrid

Los Colchoneros ready to risk keeper exit

24th April 2018, 19:05

Atletico Madrid are not planning contract talks with keeper Jan Oblak despite reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

Stoke City

Shawcross hoping for late push

24th April 2018, 19:04

Stoke centre-back Ryan Shawcross has admitted that his team need to win their last three matches to avoid relegation this season.

Lyon

Diaz set for Lyon return against Nantes

24th April 2018, 19:01

Lyon star Mariano Diaz should be able to feature on Saturday against Nantes after returning to training.

Southampton

Yoshida focused on league status

24th April 2018, 18:24

Southampton centre-back Maya Yoshida has urged his team to move on from their FA Cup disappointment as they try to avoid the drop.