Elgin heads Supreme Trial line-up
The unbeaten Elgin heads 10 entries for the exciting £30,000 Grade Two Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle at Haydock Park on Saturday.
Elgin leads Mohaayed over the last flight at Kempton – will they meet again at Haydock on Saturday?
The two-mile contest has been won by subsequent Grade One scorers Peddlers Cross (2010) and Cinders And Ashes (2012) in recent seasons, with the latter going on to win the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
That same contest could well be the target this season for Elgin, the 5/2 favourite in Sky Bet's ante-post betting on the race, owned and bred by the Elite Racing Club. He has a lofty rating of 145 following a smooth success over Mohayeed – who could reoppose – in a two-mile novices' hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. That came on the back of a decisive maiden hurdle victory at Newcastle in November.
Decent Flat performer Craggaknock is also unbeaten over hurdles, having captured a couple of two-mile novices' hurdles at Wetherby this season. The second of those successes saw the six-year-old give 7lb and a two and three-quarter length beating to the smart Azzuri, trained by Skelton, over Christmas.
North Yorkshire-based Walford said on Monday: "We have been happy with Craggaknock and it looks like the going will be in his favour at Haydock – he likes soft ground.
"We are dipping our toe into this sort of grade and hopefully we will find out where we are with him. He has improved with each run and his hurdling is getting better.
"It looked a decent race at Wetherby last time although obviously Dan Skelton's horse [Azzuri] didn't run to his rating of 139.
"Craggaknock is never a horse who is going to go on and win by 10 lengths. He only does what is asked of him really and I thought it was a good performance.
"We have put the cheekpieces on to help him focus on his hurdles. He is completely genuine and didn't wear them on the Flat but when we first started jumping him he wandered around a little bit.
"Haydock is sharper than Wetherby but I don't expect that to be a problem. I would imagine it will be a stamina test on the ground and he should have a good each-way chance."
Also in the line-up could be the unbeaten Neon Wolf, winner of a bumper at Uttoxeter and a novices' hurdle at Exeter in two outings this season, while River Wylde was an eye-catching seven-length winner on his debut over hurdles at Ludlow on December 21.
"Elgin won in good style at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and is the 5/2 favourite, but River Wylde, Neon Wolf and Craggaknock are all undefeated over hurdles and add further spice to what should be a fascinating race."
NAP of the Day
|Date||Silk||Selection||Time / Course||Price|
|£10 Win Single Pays £45.00 with Bet365|
|18/08/2017||Pacific Salt||18:50 Newmarket|