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Oh my, it just has to be Mio; In association with DAVE MITCHELL on the 3.35 from Ascot VALUE SCOPE.

THE Ladbroke Hurdle (3.35 Ascot) has given out plenty of early Christmas presents to bold punters in recent times as the shortest winning price since 2007 has been 10-1. We can start by eliminating all four and seven-year-olds plus because both age groups have a shocking record in this race.

Second-season hurdlers have dominated, so the overly experienced Three Kingdoms, Sort It Out, Waxies Dargle, Noble Inn and Rayvin Black can be discarded, although Vicenzo Mio is retained on the grounds that a leg injury in January 2014, which put him out of action for 21 months, means that this is effectively his second campaign.

Horses need to be rated lower than 147 to win this, so out goes Renneti, which leaves us with a short list of Jolly's Cracked It, Some Plan, Hurricane Hollow, Vicenzo Mio and Song Light.

A solid run last time out is important, therefore Song Light, last of seven at Newbury, can go too.

For a horse who has won only one of his last six races, Jolly's Cracked It is too short in the market, while lack of experience in big fields is a worry for Some Plan.

Soft ground puts me off Hurricane Hollow, as does a suspicion he needs a slight drop in the weights, so we are back with previous course winner VICENZO MIO.

Trainer Paul Nicholls thought a lot of him when he was a novice and the gelding's fitness should be spot-on after two runs this season. Harry Cobden is value for a 7lb claim, so have 2pts ew at 22-1 with Ladbrokes, who go five places.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 19, 2015
Words:269
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