We were unlucky last Saturday with Harry Senior being withdrawn by the vet at the start at Warwick as he cut himself when bolting to the start. He was backed to 11/4 joint-favourite from the 7/1 we were on at, and we also got 3 places in a 6-runner field.
Anyway, we move onwards and upwards and look to this coming Saturday at Haydock in a hurdle race that we expect to cut up closer to post time. Read on to see who our pick is and why...
The team at Cleeve
The New One Unibet Hurdle (Class One) (0-170 4YO+) 2M bar 78 yards, Heavy.
the bookies have been up to their shenanigans again on this particular race. When we originally put the post out the odds were 9/2 with 3 places 1/5 odds. Today for some unknown reason they have altered the market (all bookmakers) and changed the odds to best price 7/2 2 places 1/4 odds even though there are still 9 runners declared.
We have contacted Bet365 and spoken to their customer services department who were as confused as us. They went through to their sportsbook market makers and they have given the pathetic excuse that they are waiting for the final declarations to come out on Friday before reforming the market.
They are still happy to take bets on all 9 runners but only payout on two places – outrageous in our book.
Now, do they know something we don’t? Is Pentland Hills unlikely to run? If so then Call Me Lord could well go off at 2/1 or less.
We understand that this is far from ideal as some of you will have got the original price and places and others won’t. The rationale behind these selections is to lock in value and extra places from the early markets. On this occasion, this is now impossible. So if you didn’t get the 3 places and the 9/2 then do not back Call Me Lord at the restrictive terms now on offer.
Call Me Lord is a seven-year-old gelding trained by Nicky Henderson in the ownership of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede. He is usually ridden by the owners retained jockey Daryl Jacob.
Call Me Lord has won six of his thirteen races over hurdles and been placed on five other occasions. He is a top-class hurdler who has won races on soft/heavy ground and seems to favour flat tracks which are the conditions he will get here.
Call Me Lord looks like he will be his trainer’s second string in this Champion Hurdle trial as Pentland Hills is the current favourite and is scheduled to be ridden by stable 1st jockey Nico de Boinville. However, he may well be withdrawn at the final declaration stage due to the expected heavy ground, whereas Call Me Lord is proven on the ground and is therefore to me is the more likely of the two to run.
Of the opposition, apart from Pentland Hills, Ballyandy will be competitive in the ground but I do not think that the other runners are anywhere near top level.
So at 9/2 with 3 places Call Me Lord looks is almost an each-way bet to nothing at present.