Outsiders to consider for the Liverpool Hurdle
Although the Grand National dominates the headlines at Aintree in April, there is one race which is arguably one of the most underrated across the three-day Festival – and that is the Liverpool Hurdle. The three-mile and half-a-furlong Grade 1 affair has seen some high-profile thoroughbreds win it in years’ past, including the likes of four-time champion Big Buck’s (2009-12), back-to-back victors Mighty Man (2006-07) and Whisper (2014-2015) to name a few.
While there are some extremely talented horses in Marie’s Rock, Teahupoo and Flooring Porter who are garnering the smart money in the horse racing latest odds – there are plenty of capable horses less-fancied in the betting lines who could upset the applecart. With that in mind, read on as we dissect the outsiders to consider for the Liverpool Hurdle.
Despite a less than stellar performance in his most recent outing in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase – in which he finished eighth and 35 lengths off the eventual winner The Real Whacker – Thyme Hill has still experienced a strong season for the most part.
In his three starts prior to his run at Prestbury Park, the Philip Hobbs and Johnson White-trained horse secured victories at Exeter and Kempton, to coincide with a second-place finish at Newbury. The nine-year-old’s performances in his victories were particularly impressive, as he won both contests emphatically by 17 and 15 lengths respectively.
For those who feel Thyme Hill can bounce back and return to form at Aintree, he is paying a tempting 14/1 with certain operators.
Given that he also won this fixture in 2021, 14/1 could prove to be one of the value bets of the day.
This French horse has shown plenty of promise since making his debut in May of 2020. Despite having just six wins in 19 starts, that’s not a fair indication of the six-year-old’s potential. He’s been there or thereabouts in almost every one of his runs, and has hit a rich vein of form this season that include wins at Fontainebleau and in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham.
Couple that with a place finish at Pau – and there was considerable anticipation surrounding the six-year-old in the lead-up to the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival most recently. He didn’t quite perform to the level most expected, weakening before the last to finish eighth.
Gold Tweet’s trainer Gabriel Leenders wasn’t displeased with how his thoroughbred ran however – attributing the poor result to the performance of jockey Johnny Charron.
“He was ridden too far back and then when they turned for home, Johnny found himself following the wrong horses,” he said. “He needed a horse to take him into the race, but ended up following those that weren’t going anywhere. If he’d got closer to them he might still have been all right, but that wasn’t the case.”
Therefore, if Gold Tweet can get a better ride at Aintree this time around, he may be worth a look at 14/1.
Sire Du Berlais
Never write off a former champion. Sire Du Berlais was brilliant in his Liverpool Hurdle victory last year, staying on well up the straight to hold off former Stayers’ Hurdle winner Flooring Porter by just shy of two lengths. The French-bred horse’s form had not been anything to write about since that showing however, losing his next five races by considerable margins. That was until his most recent outing in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Prestbury Park last month, where he reigned supreme in the Grade 1 contest by three-quarters-of-a-length from Dashel Drasher.
His stamina down the stretch was impressive, a factor that could work in his favour for the upcoming Liverpool Hurdle. For those who feel Sire Du Berlais can make it a Cheltenham Festival and Grand National Festival double in 2023, he is paying 7/1.