3M Hurdles Handicappings - Smarty Wild, Bravemansgame, Lock's Corner, and Double Shuffle
The Smarty Wild, Bravemansgame, Lock's Corner, and Double Shuffle are the best-known names in 3M's Hurdles. But what else are these runners capable of? What makes them so good? And how do they stack up against the rest? Read on to find out. Then go out and buy one of these top performing products. We have included a quick review of each.
In this three-mile handicap, the odds look good for SMARTY WILD, who finished well behind Panic Attack in his Ascot debut. This time, he drops 2Ib in weight from that performance and looks more likely to make a big impact. SOME REIGN, a close second in last month's C&D handicap, is another one to watch. He's been let in lightly, and looks to be the main danger. However, he's backed by Colossus, who has up to $100 bonus funds.
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The first time in three years that Bravemansgame has been a favourite in the Ballymore Novice Hurdle, Paul Nicholls' gelding has impressed. The four-year-old is a big, scopey horse with more boot than Denman, the champion hurdler of the 2005-2006 season. Though Denman is a superstar, Bravemansgame has all the attributes to become one as well.
The betting is extremely competitive, but it is hard to find a clear favourite for the race. Two other horses are rated the same, and both of them have won at Aintree. The first two are rated the same, and the winner of those races will go to the Festival Novices Chase at Cheltenham. The second contender, Ahoy Senor, has won three out of four starts.
Although Bravemansgame is the favourite, there are a few contenders that might upset the top three. L'Homme Presse is unbeaten, but missed Cheltenham due to rain-soft ground. Bravemansgame has a great record over fences and is expected to win here. L'Homme Presse, meanwhile, has a good chance of finishing second. It is worth noting that Venetia Williams is also the rider of Ahoy Senor, who ran third in the Grade One Scilly Isles Novices Chase.
Earlier in the season, Bravemansgame won a Grade 1 novice hurdle at Aintree, beating rivals by 7l. In between, he won Grade 2 hurdles at Wetherby and Kempton. With such low mileage, he should have plenty of scope to keep up with his opponents. However, he struggled to find his rhythm in November, so he must prove he can handle the task.
The Lock's Corner 3M Hurdles is the latest race in the five-day festival at Stratford, and it looks a good test for this horse. The horse has had a mixed recent campaign but has run well over this sort of trip in the past. He is one of six runners in this race with two wins from three starts this season. His last three starts have been at similar trips.
Despite being a fav, Good And Hardy had no trouble beating the leading pair. However, he was left behind the front pair at the penultimate flight, but made up ground on the long run to the last. With 100 yards to run, he took the lead and gave Connor Brace and Fergal O'Brien a one and a half length win. Accordingtogino finished second.
The Betsafe Intermediate Hurdle also had two runners head to the post. Thegallantway and Paddy Brennan were well backed at the start, but The Wolf, trained by Olly Murphy, stalked Thegallantway to gain ground on the latter. Although the latter looked to be travelling better than Thegallantway, the former failed to clear in the closing stages, and the latter was beaten by a length and a half.
In the Lock's Corner 3M Hurdles, Allmankind and Botox Has looked like the two best bets for this card. Both have a good record, and Allmankind and Botox Has have a high chance of winning. But, while Allmankind and Botox Has look to be the top two in this race, both have scope for improvement. Botox Has, Gary Moore's mount, finished second to Allmankind over this distance last November and went on to win the event. Both of these horses go well fresh.
A winner in the 3M Hurdles at Kempton on debut last time, Double Shuffle has been handicapped by James Bowen since the 2017 King George. The Crossed Fingers Partnership runner likes Kempton and is likely to return there in the upcoming Grade 3 Close Brothers Handicap Chase. While he hasn't won a Graded race since his 2015 victory over Might Bite, Double Shuffle has been fresh since the King George, and trainer Tom George is well-versed in keeping veterans sweet.
The Achille has won the past two Cheltenham Festival races, including the 3M Hurdles, and he'll be looking to get back to winning ways at Warwick on Saturday. The Welsh-bred was a runner-up in the 3M5F marathon last year, but has been disappointing in his preparations since. Achille, trained by Venetia Williams, is a BHA mark 141 and was sixth in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter in March.
This season's Warwick 3m Hurdles is a hugely competitive one, with a total prize money of PS100,000 up for grabs. Notachance has been one of the main targets for Alan King's stable since the campaign began. Last year, he was riding a wave of form, having won a 2m race at Bangor and the Classic Chase. But next time out, he pulled up slightly lame at Haydock, denying him the chance of continuing his success.
Three-year-old Third Wind (3.5) looks a good bet at 40/1 after finishing second in the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle at Cheltenham last season. He was also well-backed in the Long Walk Hurdle last time out at Ascot. The only other CD winner in the field is Keeper Hill, 11 years old and unbeaten in three starts this year. The other horses are Viva Lavilla and Lossiemouth.
Golan Fortune, who finished fourth in a Grade 1 at Kempton in December, is also a possible market leader. The horse has been second twice in the last three months, but concedes six lbs to Goshen in this race. However, he's unlikely to make the same mistake twice, and is likely to show up here. If Notachance comes out of the gate slalom, he'll be a big price, especially in the Grand National Trial.