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Graeme Rodway
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Horse racing tips: Back Bridge for another famous Haydock success

It's Grand National Trial day at Haydock on Saturday and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway has cast his eye over the card to provide his two best bets.

Graeme Rodway's tips

2.40 Haydock - Sounds Russian @ 5/1
3.15 Haydock - Famous Bridge @ 11/2

Horse Racing

2.40 Haydock - Sounds Russian @ 5/1

The Rendlesham Hurdle (2.40) is going to be a gruelling test of stamina over 3m½f on heavy ground and that will be ideal for SOUNDS RUSSIAN, who always gets going too late.

The nine-year-old was improving rapidly over fences when we last saw him and he followed his fast-finishing second in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby in December 2022 with another excellent second behind Ahoy Senor, getting only 3lb, in last year's Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.

The concerns are that he hasn't been seen since he was brought down in the Gold Cup, back at Cheltenham, 11 months ago and this is a hurdle not a chase, but that's no reason to write him off completely.

He is totally unexposed over hurdles, having shown plenty of promise when second three times in 2021, and maybe connections have a tilt at the Stayers' Hurdle in mind this year.

The 337-day absence also doesn't worry me because trainer Ruth Jefferson always has her horses at peak fitness first time out, and many of her representatives are at their best when fresh.

Sounds Russian is heavily favoured by these weights, being the second-highest rated runner on BHA figures and just 2lb behind Botox Has, but receiving 6lb from that rival.

There is no doubt that if the real Sounds Russian turns up and produces his best form, he should be winning.

Graeme Rodway's tip:

Sounds Russian @ 5/1 - 1pt win

3.15 Haydock - Famous Bridge @ 11/2

The feature Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (3.15) will be another extreme test of staying power, over 3m4½f on heavy ground, and that should be ideal for FAMOUS BRIDGE.

The Nicky Richards-trained eight-year-old signed off last season with two good wins and put a low-key seasonal reappearance at Ayr this campaign firmly behind him when recording back-to-back wins at this course in November and December. One win was on heavy going.

He reached a peak career Racing Post Rating of 144 on that occasion and is evidently well suited by Haydock heavy. That can sometimes be enough as not many act on this ground.

Famous Bridge comes here after a disappointing run when 13/2 joint-favourite for the Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster last time, but he made a bad mistake early on and never got into the race. He almost certainly found the good ground quicker than he prefers that day, too.

He was no stronger than at the finish when successful over 3m1½f at this track on his previous start, going clear on the run-in, and stepping up to 3m4½f can bring more progress.

Graeme Rodway's tip:

Famous Bridge @ 11/2 - 1pt win

Graeme Rodway's tips

2.40 Haydock - Sounds Russian @ 5/1
3.15 Haydock - Famous Bridge @ 11/2

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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