Which 16-1 contender has the Betfair Hurdle in his sights?

Which 16-1 contender has the Betfair Hurdle in his sights?

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The number of runners from the Exmoor yard has significantly decreased over the last ten years. However, they have had success in stamina-sapping handicaps, such as winning the Midlands National in 2009 with Russian Trigger and Haydock’s Grand National Trial with Giles Cross three years later. Now, the stable has a new star believed to be one of the best in Dartnall’s training career. This horse, Aurigny Mill, is so quick that he could even compete on the Flat. He recently produced an exceptional performance at Kempton on December 27, clocking a time just 1.8 seconds slower than Constitution Hill’s Christmas Hurdle victory over the same course and distance the day before. This performance prompted a 9lb hike from the handicapper, and now connections are considering entering Aurigny Mill in the £155,000 Newbury contest on February 10, where he is a general 16-1.

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Sally Weld’s seven-year-old horse has always been highly regarded, but injury issues have held him back in the past. He had bruised feet after each of his runs last season, and a bacterial infection was to blame for his disappointing fifth-place finish at Sandown at the start of this season. However, he has been in peak shape recently, winning at Wincanton last month and following up with a victory at Kempton 15 days later under jockey Fergus Gillard. Sean Bowen, who rode him in his second bumper race, expressed confidence in his abilities and predicted he would win many races. The horse has always shown a lot of pace, but getting him to settle had been a challenge in the past. Problems with his feet limited his training to one race at a time, which was unsatisfactory.

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