Money Back: 2.05 Haydock
Sky Bet are offering 'Money Back' if your selection finishes second in the 2.05 Haydock – check out our verdicts on the race.
Is Elgin your idea of the Sky Bet Supreme Trial winner?
Harry Fry has started 2017 with a bang and he was desperately unlucky not to win with a highly promising novice hurdler in the shape of Black Mischief at Wincanton on Thursday, a horse that fell at the last with the race at his mercy against a highly-touted Paul Nicholls runner. Still, Fry has a very good chance of making up for that by landing the Sky Bet Supreme Trial at Haydock on Saturday with Neon Wolf and the 3lb he gets from Elgin just swings the balance in his favour, especially with him being slightly the bigger of the pair in the market. A very smart bumper winner at Uttoxeter in December, his New Year's Day hurdling win at Exeter was given a bit of a boost when the runner-up ran well again next time at the same track a couple of days ago. The testing conditions look ideal and they'll help him dropping back slightly in trip.
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I was impressed when I won on Elgin at Newcastle two starts ago – particularly as he did a lot wrong that day. He hung badly, was very keen, but that was down to him being green and inexperienced. It didn't surprise me to see him take a step forward at Kempton over Christmas where he jumped well and ran out a ready winner. He's learned to settle, is very progressive and a horse going places.
I've been really impressed with Neon Wolf on both of his starts and I think he will take all the beating in receipt of weight from Elgin. True this is a step up but he will relish the testing conditions and he looked a very smart prospect when winning his bumper at Uttoxeter and he confirmed that impression over hurdles at Exeter. Elgin has won on soft and sets the standard on form but as well as conceding weight it's worth noting that Alan King thought he benefited from racing right-handed when winning at Kempton so, with the Money Back concession in mind, I'm more than happy to be taking him on racing the other way around with a horse that could be out of the top drawer himself.
With doubts as to whether the favourite wants this ground, I can see the attraction of turning to Neon Wolf in receipt of weight. He certainly looks to have a deal of raw ability and will have come on a bundle for his debut over hurdles at Exeter, so if you're taking a tactical approach with the offer in mind then he would be the bet at the prices. However, in the spirit of diversity I'll put forward Crievehill for Nigel Twiston-Davies, around a 9/1 chance at the time of writing. His profile isn't as obviously compelling as those above him in the betting, but this five-year-old won a competitive handicap on bad ground last time, beating a bunch of bona fide mudlarks despite being saddled with a huge weight. He appeared to benefit greatly for the fitting of a hood that day and clearly relished conditions, a huge plus if the ground stays soft as expected. Good horses who perhaps didn't love the ground have been beaten in this before.
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