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Haydock preview: Masterful Act can do as name suggests (15:15)

Seven runners go to post for a 2-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Haydock Park today (15:15), but one stands out like a sore thumb in Masterful Act.

He won as he pleased for Bridget Andrews and trainer Dan Skelton on his previous recent run at Huntingdon, after failing to see out three miles at Ludlow back in January. Masterful Act comes here off the same mark he won last week with Andrews’ claim cancelling out the penalty received for that win, and he looks well ahead of the handicapper.

Lightentertainment has been a model of consistency having improved over 30 pounds in the handicap, which culminated in a win at Cheltenham where he beat Dell’ Arca on Festival Trials Day in January. He was taken off his feet in the Betfair Hurdle, and the drop in class should help as well as the step back up in distance.

Nexius would hold strong claims based on his fourth at Aintree two starts ago to Dawalan. and has been given a small break since a disappointing effort at Wetherby. These two would look the most likely to fight out the places.

Of the rest, Kazlian returns from a lengthy 445-day absence, and is mostly remembered for blitzing off in the 2012 Fred Winter and punters would better off just watching him. Landscape has shown nothing on his last two starts when beating no rivals home at either Cheltenham or Kempton.

Mr Moonshine has been disappointing throughout the season, and was probably going to race for a preparation run towards the Topham Trophy in three weeks’ time at the Grand National meeting. He is a non-runner, however.

It’s Masterful Act who the smart money shall be on at Haydock, especially now he’s stepped down in trip by half a mile. Back the worthy favourite to win at this Merseyside venue.