Verko worth an interest with stable on fire

Micky Hammond can do little wrong right now



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Betting Tip: Verko @ 7/2 with bet365

The Micky Hammond stable is on fire with a double at Cartmel on Bank Holiday Monday making it eight winners in the last fortnight, and his last 12 runners have achieved finishing positions of 133118119511.

Having tipped up the last of those winners here at 10/1 – hope you were on – I see no reason to change a winning formula and I’m napping the trainer’s VERKO, who gets weight from all his rivals in the 3m handicap hurdle at Hexham this evening (7.40pm). Placed in a couple of Irish points, the six-year-old showed his best form for his current stable when upped to this trip at Newcastle in November, finishing second to a well-backed favourite. On that evidence he’s up to winning a race of this nature and, while he’s failed to reach the same heights on his last two starts, he has dropped in the weights as a result and useful claimer Craig Nichol takes a further 3lb off his back.

His stablemate ROXYFET can provide Hammond with a double when he runs in the 2m handicap chase run later on the card (8.10pm). A three-time winner in France, he has taken a while to acclimatise but he looked to be getting the hang of things at Sedgefield last time, when finding only subsequent winner My Friend George too good. Nichol’s claim cancels out a 3lb rise for that effort and there ought to be plenty more improvement to come from the five-year-old.

The Verko-Roxyfet double pays just over 18/1 with Betfair, who were just one of three firms up at the time of writing – it could be worth shopping around in the morning.

Betting Tip: Verko @ 7/2 with bet365

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