Friday, 17 February 2017

Breeze Is The Bet In Grand National Trial At Haydock

The big handicap chase of the day on Saturday is the Grand National Trial at Haydock, and I am amazed to see Cresswell Breeze priced up at as big as 20/1 for this Grade 3. This mare has given Anthony Honeyball and her owners some big days out, and she looks well worth a crack over this marathon trip. She was showing no signs of stopping when hosing up at Taunton (24f hvy) when winning her 3rd handicap hurdle on the trot, and her pedigree suggests she should stay this longer trip.
Anthony Honeyball has his string in fine form. 
This 7yo daughter of Midnight Legend is out of a mare that won 4 chases at trips ranging from 21f to 25.5f, so stamina should not be an issue. The way she finished off her race last time in a Listed handicap at Leicester behind the talented Desert Queen (22f good) suggested she was ready for further and, though she ran poorly over 24f at Market Rasen previously, that was her seasonal comeback so it can be excused.

Her last hurdle win came off a mark of 112 but, thus far, she has failed to get her head in front in a handicap chase. She rallied well and was closing on the winner all the way to the line in a valuable handicap at the Punchestown festival (21f yld), beaten less than a length off a mark of 130. She is only 2lb higher on Saturday off 132, and she gets in off bottom weight of 10st 6lbs.

I think this mare may have been trained with this race in mind, and her trainer is absolutely flying. He has had 2 winners and 2 places already this week, and Harry Cobden was on board for 3 of those. Cobden has an astonishing strike rate overall when riding for the Honeyball yard, racking up 13 wins and 11 places from just 41 rides. She can still be backed at odds of 20/1, and she will surely be a lot shorter on the day. Drying ground is another positive, and I think Cresswell Breeze is capable of running a huge race and rewarding each way support.


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