Horse Racing Tips

Long Walk Hurdle: Timeform's expert verdict

Paisley Park
The Long Walk Hurdle takes place at Ascot on Saturday

"...he is very interesting now upped markedly in grade given he remains far from exposed..." Timeform on Crambo

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide and 1-2-3 verdict for the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.

  • Timeform's runner-by-runner guide to the Long Walk Hurdle

Long Walk Hurdle
14:25 Ascot, Saturday
Live on ITV4

1. Botox Has (Gary Moore/Caoilin Quinn)

Landed a valuable big-field 3m Haydock handicap hurdle last season and enhanced his good record fresh when adding the West Yorkshire Hurdle to his CV at Wetherby seven weeks ago, edging ahead on the run-in and holding on gamely by a length from Red Risk. Not an obvious type to follow up but has cheekpieces back on.

2. Champ (Nicky Henderson/Jonjo O'Neill Jr)

Very talented hurdler and chaser who dug deep to fend off Paisley Park on reappearance last term. Third to same rival in this corresponding event (held at Kempton) next time and disappointed at Aintree eight months ago. Won this in 2021 and has to be respected given his positive record when fresh (has also had another breathing operation).

3. Crambo (Fergal O'Brien/Jonathan Burke)

Dual bumper winner who took his record over hurdles to four from six in 2½m handicap at Aintree on reappearance in October. Left the impression that the handicapper still hasn't got his measure when a fast-finishing third at Haydock four weeks ago, and he is very interesting now upped markedly in grade given he remains far from exposed.

4. Dashel Drasher (Jeremy Scott/Rex Dingle)

Tough and likeable sort who ran stormers when second in the Relkeel, Cleeve and Stayers' Hurdles (all Cheltenham) last season. Stepped up significantly on his reappearance run when narrowly denying Paisley Park in Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury earlier this month and this veteran seems sure to launch another bold bid.

5. Goshen (Gary Moore/Niall Houlihan)

Quirky sort but he's very smart on his day and took the Coral Hurdle at this track last November. Below form in his bid to defend his crown in that corresponding event last month and again failed to figure in rearranged Fighting Fifth at Sandown last time. Remains easily opposable.

6. Gowel Road (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Gavin Sheehan)

Very useful hurdler in 2021/22 and easily won a small-field course handicap chase in October 2022 and, having been off 13 months, did more than enough to believe his ability is still intact when fourth in a big-field handicap hurdle at Haydock four weeks ago. This demands much more, however.

7. Paisley Park (Emma Lavelle/Tom Bellamy)

Gained a third win in this race last year and ran a cracker after nine months off when going down by a head to Dashel Drasher in Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury earlier this month. He may be rising 12 but there's every chance he can add a fourth Long Walk Hurdle to his collection.

8. Red Risk (Paul Nicholls/Bryony Frost)

Won twice back hurdling in 2022 and left his effort in France back in summer well behind when runner-up to Botox Has in West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby seven weeks ago. One of two in this for Paul Nicholls and likely to come up short at this level.

9. Blueking d'Oroux (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden)

Returned with a cosy success in 2m novice at Cheltenham in October and posted a borderline smart effort when following up in a relatively weak field for the Coral Hurdle at this course four weeks ago. Still only a four-year-old and now having his first try at 3m up significantly in grade, but can't be ruled out.

10. West Balboa (Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton)

Low-mileage mare who has yet to finish out of the first two. Signed off last season by landing a valuable big-field handicap at the Grand National meeting and picked up where she'd left off when landing three-runner minor event back there six weeks ago. Very interesting runner under her mares' allowance.

Timeform Analyst's Verdict:

The staying hurdle ranks are pretty threadbare at the moment but if there's an up-and-comer it could be in the shape of Crambo, who caught the eye with his fast-finishing third in a big-field handicap at Haydock 4 weeks ago and, with the services of experienced pilot Johnny Burke enlisted, Fergal O'Brien's 6-y-o can make his second outing at the top table a winning one. Veterans Paisley Park (bidding for a fourth success in this), Dashel Drasher and the returning Champ head up the opposition.

Timeform's 1-2-3:

1. Crambo
2. Paisley Park
3. Dashel Drasher

Back Crambo @ 5.04/1 on Betfair Exchange

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