The Ladbroke Hurdle is the race of the day and with 18 going to post it is ultra-competitive. There will be no hiding place with a fast pace assured on soft to heavy ground likely to find out many of the younger horses.
Bayan might not have much to hide from the Handicapper at this stage of his hurdling career but he is all heart giving 100% on each run. That is the type of horse required to win the Ladbrokes and he reminds me so much of Gordon Elliott’s past winner of this race Cause of Causes (2012).
Both horses are small in stature whilst Bayan has proved he’s capable of winning a big pot handicap having gone close in the Coral Cup (3rd) at the Cheltenham Festival and more recently when 2nd in the Galway Hurdle. Ascot racecourse should suit his style of running well.
Today’s testing ground will bring his stamina into play and Gordon Elliott has openly stated this race has been the plan since Galway. Gordon Elliott has surpassed last seasons’ tally of 56 winners already and has his horses in cracking form. Davy Condon is just back from another spell out to injury and what a welcome Christmas present if Bayan wins today. Bayan looks sure to run a big race and looks a cracking each way bet. Shelford looks the biggest danger in my opinion.
Selection – 1 Point *EW Bayan Ascot 15:30 @ 12/1 Ladbrokes & Coral paying 5 places else 12/1 generally
Best of luck,