1pt win La Bague Au Roi @25/1, 14:25 Aintree, Saturday

I give the only mare in the race, LA BAGUE AU ROI, a better chance in the Grade 1 two-miles-four novice’ hurdle than the 25/1 she’s quoted suggests.

She was no match for Let’s Dance in the mares’ novices’ hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but was returning from a 110-day break and might’ve needed the run.

Her best form is on flat tracks like Aintree and she likes good ground, so there’s plenty to like.

The trip is an unknown and that is more of a positive for long-odds horses, as it could be the making of her.

She’s up against the boys and receives the 7lb mares allowance, which puts her right in the mix on official ratings and brings her just 3lb off the favourite Finian’s Oscar of the in-form Colin Tizzard stable.

Finian’s Oscar hasn’t enjoyed an ideal preparation for this as he skipped Cheltenham through a setback, and the form of his Tolworth Hurdle win has received several dents in recent months so he’s there to be taken on.

He looks more of a chaser so can’t be backed with a lot of confidence as the favourite, although his yard’s form is a big plus and he’s always been highly regarded by connections.

He’s very much the main threat, with Alan King’s Neptune third Messiere Des Obeaux also respected, but La Bague Au Roi simply looks overpriced and worth a roll of the dice in a competitive race.

1pt win La Bague Au Roi @25/1, 14:25 Aintree, Saturday

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