1pt double Irving, Brother Tedd @5/1

Typical of this stage of the season, only four contest Saturday’s Betfair Price Rush Hurdle at Haydock (13:50), with recent Wincanton winner Irving the market leader for Paul Nicholls.

Melodic Rendezvous was seven lengths behind him on the day and, despite getting his favourite deep ground, looks highly unlikely to reverse the form – a view echoed by his own connections.

Top Notch lost his unbeaten record at the festival when going down by a neck to the top-class Peace And Co – though the winning margin certainly flattered him. That was raced on soft ground, which he gets again on Saturday, and so long as he doesn’t need the run he should go close. Age is on his side at four and he’s priced like a certainty. He isn’t.

French import Fout Et Sage finished last of eight on British debut, but has been entered for this nonetheless, so is probably better than the 25/1 quoted by StanJames.

Clearly feeling the benefits of his wind operation, it’s has to be Irving really, such was the strength of his seasonal debut. Any odds-against price looks very fair indeed, though it might be worth waiting for morning prices to get maximum value.

Over at Ascot it’s hard not to be tempted by the nosies coming from Richard Johnson about his ride in the 14:40, Brother Tedd. Up against the classy Rock On Ruby, he’ll have to step up a notch and prove his beating of Silviniaco Conti over hurdles at Kempton was as good as it looked.

Receiving weight he’s got a little less ground to make up in ratings and he has age on his side, so we’re on board in a double with Irving.

1pt double Irving, Brother Tedd @5/1

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