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Spinner has the quality to deliver in the Long Walk Hurdle

By Nick Grant

Sam Spinner has what it takes to produce a showstopping performance in the JLT Reve de Sivola Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

Jedd O'Keeffe's five-year-old has never been out of the first two and his last two runs have been huge career-bests.

Whether he has it in him to improve even more - which he will need to do to beat some solid, if not spectacular, performers - is the big question, but he is priced accordingly.

This time last year he failed to concede a penalty in a Kelso novice hurdle, but the winner was Mount Mews, subsequently second in a Grade One to Pingshou at the Grand National meeting, giving the form some gravitas.

His most recent performance at Haydock marked him out as potentially top class as, although he was only racing off a mark of 139, he was trying the best part of three miles for the first time and was strongest at the finish.

In a division with no real star at the moment, he could be the new kid on the block.

Nicky Henderson's Verdana Blue can defy an 8lb rise in the Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle.

Henderson has a fine record in the race, and his Brain Power put up a fine weight-carrying performance 12 months ago.

Verdana Blue has improved markedly this season in two runs over course and distance.

First time out she travelled smoothly before being squeezed at the last. She meets the winner, Elgin, on 3lb better terms.

That race has worked out incredibly well, with the mare doing her bit for the form when beating the in-form Speredek by an easy three lengths. There is more to come from her.

ASCOT: 12.40 Forgetthesmalltalk, 1.15 Coney Island, 1.50 Dream Bolt, 2.25 Sam Spinner, 3.00 Walk In The Mill, 3.35 VERDANA BLUE (NAP).

HAYDOCK: 11.50 Isaacstown Lad, 12.25 Clyne, 1.00 Court Artist, 1.35 Eamon An Cnoic, 2.10 Limited Reserve, 2.45 Lake View Lad, 3.20 Sleepy Haven.

LINGFIELD: 12.00 Winged Spur, 12.35 Zest, 1.10 Yogi's Girl, 1.45 Utmost, 2.20 Mr Pocket, 2.55 Storm King, 3.30 Malt Teaser.

NEWCASTLE: 11.45 Silva Eclipse, 12.15 Kauto Riko, 12.50 Our Valentina, 1.25 Very First Time, 2.00 Bering Upsun, 2.35 Dubai Angel, 3.10 Kindler.

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