Racing tip of the day
Ian Ogg is keen to take on Westward Point and Tony McCoy in the Howden Joinery Novices' Hurdle at Wetherby.
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Neptune Equester and Teo Vivo: 3.20 Wetherby
Colleague Ben Coley, who's well versed in such matters, informs me that One Direction are a popular beat combo, not unlike JLS a member of whom caused much delirium when visiting the offices recently.
Their relevance to the Howden Joinery Novices' Hurdle at Wetherby is nil but I do believe there's only one direction to go in this staying hurdle and that's to take on the favourite Westward Point.
A gutsy winner at Warwick last time, the fourth has won since and he's now ridden by AP McCoy who has a fine record when riding for Warren Greatrex in recent seasons.
Neither trip nor ground are expected to be a problem and everything points to a big run but he's priced accordingly and I felt that he benefited from a finely judged ride by Jason Maguire at the Midlands venue and that he could prove vulnerable at this very different circuit.
There are no such problems for Neptune Equester and Brian Ellison's C&D winner has to form part of the staking plan but there's probably not a lot of mileage left in his price of around 5/2.
Halley is next in the market but he has been off the track for some time and he struggled to reproduce his smart French form in three starts in Britain last season.
It wouldn't surprise me if this is an outing to blow away the cobwebs before returning to Auteuil to compete in some of their most prestigious and valuable races over the coming months.
Another runner with a French connection is Teo Vivo who is the son of one of the rising stars of the French stallion scene in Great Pretender.
The winner of a point-to-point, he went close in a bumper on debut before racing too keenly second time out. He settled far better on his hurdling bow and wouldn't have to improve significantly on that to take a hand here.
I was tempted to put him up each-way at a double figure price but a better option is to take Teo Vivo and Neptune Equester against the field.