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Farringdon Quick ground should suit the Red Tornado

THE final Grand National will be played on on Bank Holiday Monday at Fairyhouse with the Irish version, which I will comment upon later, but it is also a big day at Haydock Park over the sticks and at Musselburgh and Kempton on the level.

I have always been a huge fan of NEVER SURRENDER and he remains unexposed over two miles and I think he will take a deal of beating in the Queen’s Prize in the 4.50 at Kempton Park.

Charlie Hills has taken his time with this son of High Chaparral and this will be only his second start over two miles, the first coming at Ascot in October when he was a useful second to What A Welcome, coming home well.

I think that his handicap mark of 85 is very playable and Jamie Spencer is quite obviously the perfect match-up for him being a hold-up charge.

Of his rivals, Cliffs of Dooneen could be the other major player as he is quite highly regarded by Ralph Beckett and has plenty of improvement in the locker as well.

Earlier on at the Sunbury-on-Thames track, TOMILY has been shown some mercy by the handicapper and he can land the big sprint at 2.00 for Richard Hannon and Tom Marquand.

At Musselburgh the mile and three quarters of the Queen’s Cup at 3.35 looks even more competitive than the Kempton staying event and Mark Johnston with four runners could hold the key to this.

He has the classy Hochfeld and Austrian School in here and the latter may well turn out to be a cup horse this year, such is the esteem he is held in, which probably makes him vulnerable over this shorter trip.

The best value in the race could well come in the form of PIPES OF PEACE (nb) who came home in taking fashion when finishing on the heels of the winner in the Roseberry Handicap at Kempton Park. There should be very little between this ex Aidan O’Brien horse and Kelly’s Dino on that form.

Also worth a small play at the Edinburgh track is top weight and probable outsider BRILLIANT VANGUARD in the 4.05, while I also fancy a big run from course and distance winner ORIENT CLASS in the 5.15.

It’s finals day at Haydock Park over the sticks and it looks as though quicker ground will prevail and that should suit top weight RED TORNADO (nap) who must have a sound surface.

He may be able to give the weight away to Bhutan who has promised plenty both on the flat and over the sticks, but has yet to really deliver, but still has time on his side.

The last named looks as though he has been aimed at this and looks interesting at a double figure price.

Elsewhere on the card, I really fancy a huge run from THE PADDY PIE in the 2.40, while at a much bigger price there should be a good run in DIAMOND FORT in the staying handicap hurdle at 3.15.

He is still unexposed at this trip, only his second start at it, the first on unsuitably soft ground and with first time cheek pieces on and with Connor Brace claiming a full 7lbs pounds everything looks in his favour at a double figure price.

And finally the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Bank Holiday Monday at 5.00 and it is interesting that Ruby Walsh will ride the inexperienced Burrows Saint for boss Willie Mullins. 

But he almost makes the market for the rest of the field and the two I like each-way against his rivals are BLOW BY BLOW at a huge price following a wind operation and DOUNIKOS who won the Grand National Trial two outings back before blowing out in the Grand National at Aintree.

Sunday 
Kildorrery — Fairyhouse (nap) 3.50

Don des Fosses —  Plumpton 2.25

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