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Ante-Post Update – Baltimore Rock slashed for County Hurdle

The Imperial Cup offered the prospect of a £100,000 bonus for connections of any horse following up in the County Hurdle next week. David Pipe’s Baltimore Rock earned the privilege but still requires 26 horses to drop out if he is to get a run.

Despite this, he has been slashed to 5-1 favourite (NR – no bet) for Friday’s race. Regal Encore has been pushed out to 14-1 along with beaten favourite Vibrato Valtat and both must be considered doubtful.

The festival target of Gilgamboa is yet to be decided and he could still end up as favourite for the County Hurdle. He is currently 8-1 for the County Hurdle and 10-1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Dormello Mo has entered calculations for the Fred Winter Hurdle after winning the opener at Sandown on Saturday. The Paul Nicholls-trained gelding is now 12-1 after easily accounting for Astrum by seven lengths.

On His Own has been introduced at 16-1 for the Gold Cup after being supplemented for the race by Willie Mullins on Saturday. He is a leading fancy for the Grand National but connections clearly feel he has good place prospects on Friday.

Support has continued for Triolo D’Alene with the prospect of good ground for the big race. He was as high as 40-1 last week but is now into 12-1. The market for the Byrne Group Plate remains wide open but there has been significant support for the JP McManus-owned pair Colour Squadron (8-1) and Tap Night (9-1).

David Pipe put in a good word for Vieux Lion Rouge earlier in the week and that horse is now 8-1 joint-favourite with stable companion Dell’ Arca for the Martin Pipe Hurdle. Vieux Lion Rouge is also prominent in the betting for the Coral Cup at 12-1.

Nicky Henderson’s Full Shift has also attracted some interest in the Martin Pipe at 10-1. Willie Mullins has a host of fancied runners next week and Arctic Fire joined the growing list when cut to 8-1 for the County Hurdle.

Flat racing fans are already looking ahead to the Lincoln and Whispering Secret earned a 12-1 quote after scrambling home in the trial at Wolverhampton.