Wednesday Haydock top tip: Brian Hughes can guide Jungle Jack home

Tipstrr racing expert Steve Jones has identified a possible upset at Haydock, where champion jockey Brian Hughes is booked to pilot Jungle Jack past the odds-on favourite.

The betting market has unsurprisingly gravitated towards Venetia Williams’ twice-raced four-year-old Djelo, who has been installed as a heavily odds-on favourite following his easy win at Exeter last week, albeit against relatively mediocre opposition.

Djelo can run with a 7lb penalty today, which means he remains 10lbs well-in on his future mark, and explains his short price.

However, it’s worth noting that his Exeter win came on a much more testing right-handed undulating track which contrasts vastly to Haydock’s tight, flat, left-handed hurdles course.

Today’s company appears to be stronger as well, with Donald McCain’s Jungle Jack coming in off some very strong handicapping form under conditions much like today’s.

15:37 (Haydock) Jungle Jack

Having won his first four starts (a point-to-point and three runs over hurdles), Jungle Jack went to Bangor in March bidding to extend his unbeaten career record in what was a strong Class 3 handicap over just shy of two and a half miles of soft ground.

Given his unblemished record up to that point, Jungle Jack was sent off a strong favourite, and all looked well as he quickened off the home bend to go clear of Harbour Lake, only to make a terrible error which halted his momentum and handed the race to his rival.

It was an unlucky defeat but the subsequent performances of that day’s winner makes the form look very strong in the context of today’s event, with Harbour Lake also winning next time out and then finishing a very creditable third over an inadequate two miles in the valuable Grade 3 Greatwood Handicap at Cheltenham.

Meanwhile, Jungle Jack now runs off an unchanged mark, which must give him a good chance under a set of conditions which are very similar, provided he is fit and ready to go first-time back.

His record when fresh reads two wins from two runs (including winning on his hurdling debut following 426 days off the track), so this could be a good time to catch him at a decent price.

McCain’s last four runners have all won, three of them under today’s top rider, Brian Hughes, who has ridden Jungle Jack on all four previous hurdling assignments, so all the signs suggest that we could see a closer race than the market might suggest.

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