It’s a Kruzh for Value Bet backers

Kruzhlinin showed impressive resolution in a survival of the fittest for the Betfair Fixed Brush Hurdle at Haydock, rewarding followers of our Value Bet column who had been advised to back the winner at 16/1 (including a 10p Rule 4).

Kruzhlinin ridden by Richard Johnson (right) clears the last flight ahead of Theo's Charm on his way to winning the Betfair Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle.

The Philip Hobbs-trained winner was to the fore from the start under Richard Johnson in a race run in attritional conditions that had most of the field well beaten off before the home turn.

Third behind Caid Du Berlais on his seasonal reappearance at Aintree, he comprehensively reversed that form with a bloodless display.

Headed by Theo's Charm two out, he had rallied to lead again by the last as the pair steadily pulled clear of their tiring rivals.

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Theo's Charm came again on the long run-in and pushed Kruzhlinin (9/1) all the way to the winning post, but the two-and-a-half-length winning margin was thoroughly deserved.

Yala Enki held off Donna's Diamond for third place.

Hobbs said: "This horse ran well the other day at Aintree. We were just a bit worried about the ground today, but he coped with it really well. He's very genuine.

"The blinkers sharpened him up a bit. I never doubted his resolution. He had lost his confidence a bit after the Grand National.

"He went to Chepstow and jumped enormous. He wasn't enjoying it all so we went back over hurdles and got the bonus of this which is great.

"He's been to Aintree three times over the National fences. It's not really his job so he won't do it again.

"This is a fantastic prize, especially as it's just a fortnight after his last run. It's really good."

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