The 2018 Summer Handicap Hurdle betting tips given by Horsebetting.com say Hassle is a great value bet to land the spoils in this Listed affair at Market Rasen on Saturday, 21 July. Mister Universum could be the pick of Dan Skelton’s two runners and is respected, while Mystic Sky was fourth in this extended 2m contest last year and appeals each-way. Our 2018 Summer Handicap Hurdle betting tips preview has more on why you should consider backing these horses.Hassle preferred to Artful Artist for Summer SuccessThere’s hardly a trainer in the land in better form than Dr Richard Newland at the moment, so Hassle is taken over Artful Artist from his Summer Handicap Hurdle runners at Market Rasen on Saturday (14:05) now returning to a happy hunting ground.
This near-year-old is a winner in the grade (Listed company) having landed the other top handicap hurdle, the Prelude at the Lincolnshire venue in September 2016. It is one of two victories over course and distance Hassle has under his belt.
He was also joint-favourite in this race two years ago, but jockey Charlie Hammond made too much use of him after taking a keen hold. Hassle was a nine-length ninth to Red Tornado, but his ride clearly learned lessons about restraining him and allowing other horses to make the running.
A more tactical ride certainly paid dividends when the pair landed the Prelude and they went on to contest the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las. That was the last we saw of Hassle on a racecourse for 574 days, however, but Hassle ran admirably in trying to overcome such a lengthy absence when ninth in the Grade 3 Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock in May.
The son of Montjeu was clearly all the better for it after then earning his second course and distance victory next time up. Hassle made headway to challenge two out and soon hit the front, opening up a ready lead at the last and forged clear on the run-in before being eased at the finish.
He was clearly value for more than the winning margin of two lengths and that may have been a prep run for this from his canny connections. They also tried Hassle in a stayers’ event on the Flat at Royal Ascot last time out and, although he finished eighth to Lagostovegas, he was only beaten 6 1/4 lengths.
Hammond is still a claimer, and the 5lb he takes off is a clear advantage. Given more lauded rivals at the head of betting – stable companion Artful Artist included – look poor prices on what they have achieved, Hassle looks great value to win at Market Rasen again here.Mister Universum may be more dangerous than Fair Mountain for SkeltonWest Midlands handler Dan Skelton and his brother Harry are on a mission to make the latter champion jockey but, while his chosen mount Fair Mountain heads the betting, it looks like the yard’s other runner Mister Universum could prove a bigger danger.
Harry Skelton has not always picked the right one to be on in a hot handicap when the stable has more than one iron in the fire. A case in point is this year’s County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival when Mohaayed landed the spoils under Bridget Andrews.
She takes over the ride on Mister Universum here – a six-year-old son of Cape Cross who was a German import to Team Skelton back in 2016. Summer ground suits him after his easy victories at Stratford and Bangor last year, but it was the step up into class 2 company he made last time out at Warwick that catches the eye.
Having tracked the leaders, Mister Universum was ridden to lead after two out and driven right out to beat the re-opposing Mystic Sky by 2 1/2 lengths with other handy sorts in-behind. This is a higher level than anything Fair Mountain has attempted since switching to National Hunt when joining the yard after taking a similar route.
Andrews had ridden Mister Universum before when a two-length runner-up behind I’m A Game Changer on his return to action this season at Ludlow when the going was softer than ideal. It would be no surprise to see him and not Fair Mountain be involved in the finish.Mystic Sky an each-way puntThere are dark horses everywhere in this competitive field, and it’s easy to make a case for plenty. Of those at bigger odds, however, Mystic Sky has to be worth an each-way bet on her run behind Mister Universum and because she was fourth in the race last year.
Trained by Lucy Wadham, this Midnight Legend mare has a course win on her CV when landing an 2m 2f intermediate hurdle by an emphatic 13 lengths back in May 2016. Another plus with the seven-year-old is she is racing off a mark that is 2lb lower than 12 months ago.
Mystic Sky was beaten 6 1/4 lengths by John Constable and there is no horse rated within half-a-stone of his winning mark in the 2017 Summer Handicap Hurdle entered this year. It means this latest renewal is easier on paper.
A wind operation since Mystic Sky’s big effort last year is notable and, while she cleared needed the run on return to action at Southwell in April, her two runner-up efforts since hint she is coming to the boil.
Beaten just 2 1/2 lengths and then a length by the re-opposing Mister Universum and All Set To Go at Warwick and Stratford respectively, Mystic Sky hasn’t got much to find to turn things around on either. While Andrews has ridden out her claim, Maxime Tissier can still take 5lb off her mount here.
That may be the difference come the business end of the race and it further enhanced Mystic Sky’s great each-way claims of going well at what seems too big a price. We just had to include her in our 2018 Summer Handicap Hurdle betting tips.Your Next Bet