Long Walk Hurdle Preview

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Sam Spinner – 10-1 Betfair Sportsbook and Paddy Power

The victory of Guitar Pete in last weekend’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham goes to show that northern trained horses can still hold their own when taking on the big southern yards in the major national hunt contests and the Jedd O’Keeffe-trained Sam Spinner can continue the trend by taking Ascot’s Grade1 JLT Reve De Sivola Long Walk Hurdle on Saturday afternoon.

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Available at 10-1 with both Betfair Sportsbook and Paddy Power the son of Black Sam Bellamy would be a much shorter price if in the hands of the likes of Nicky Henderson or Paul Nicholls based on his all-the-way victory in Haydock’s Betfair Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle last month when the five-year-old demolished a decent field of handicappers in impressive fashion. Running off a mark of 139 there the handicapper has raised the gelding to 155, 12lb behind 7-4 market leader Unowhatimeanharry who will attempt to get back to winning ways following the nine-year-old’s shock defeat at the hands of Beer Goggles last time.

While it may be asking a lot of Sam Spinner to beat a field of proven high-class staying hurdlers this will only be the horse’s seventh start over the smaller obstacles and at five is open to more improvement than the majority of the opposition. The Nicky Henderson-trained Thomas Campbell boasts a similar profile to the selection as the Yeats gelding has also progressed through the handicap route but why bookmakers have him at half the price of Sam Spinner on what the pair have achieved is hard to fathom.

Henderson is also likely to run L’Ami Serge who failed by a length and a half against the ultra-consistent Lil Rockerfeller on the course last month but has every chance of reversing that form this time on 6lb better terms. The likely mount of Daryl Jacob often finds little off the bridal however when the chips are down and is always liable to be outstayed in the closing stages.

The World’s End was a leading staying novice last season and should come on a lot for his first start of the campaign behind Sam Spinner at Haydock but it is hard seeing the seven-year-old turning the tables on only 10lb better terms for a beating of thirty three lengths. A victory for Sam Spinner would put the horse bang in the Stayers’ Hurdle picture at the Cheltenham festival. The 25-1 currently available with most bookmakers could look a big price after Saturday’s feature race.

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