Tip Of The Day: Clayton back more?
Clayton can take the first step towards a possible Betfair Hurdle tilt by winning at Newbury today, hopes our man Will Hayler.
Jamie Moore: On board Clayton for his dad at Newbury today.
This won't take long. I really like the look of Clayton in the two-mile handicap hurdle at Newbury this afternoon.
He might ideally prefer a little more cut than he's going to get here, but Gary Moore fancies a tilt at the Betfair Hurdle later in the season and this horse will need to go up a few pounds in the weights if he is to get in – the opposite situation to that faced by most trainers.
An effortless winner of a poor event at Plumpton on February, it looked to me as if he was very well-treated off 123 going into the Imperial Cup (after all, this is a horse who ran to his Flat rating of 100 only a few months ago), but the experience blew his brain and he faded badly after helping set an unsustainable gallop.
Next stop was Warwick the following month, where he finished a good second to a well-regarded rival off 122. The handicapper must have rated that form too because he pushed Clayton's mark up 4lb to 126.
A summer's break won't have done him any harm and although there is a decent chance he'll come on for the run, I hope that Moore will have him reasonably straight given that if they are to chasing some decent handicap hurdle prizes this season, he'll need to go up in the weights by a stone or so.
Favourite Peter The Mayo Man has already won twice in recent weeks and does not look to have been overburdened with a mark of 130 for this move into handicaps, but he also looks a more of a long-term chasing project than Clayton and I can see him being done for toe if the contest is run tactically.
Barizan holds the key in that respect as he can be ridden aggressively from the front, but he hasn't been so much since joining this yard, and if the small field goes around at only a realistic gallop in the early stages I would strongly fancy Clayton to have more acceleration than these rivals.
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