Greatwood Hurdle Tips – Best Bets for Big Handicap Hurdle At Cheltenham’s November Meeting

Pertemps Final Cheltenham Festival

The runners line up ahead of the Pertemps Final at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

Greatwood Hurdle Preview

The Greatwood Hurdle is the first big two-mile handicap hurdle of the new jump racing season. The race was first run in 1987 when it was won by subsequent Champion Hurdle winner Celtic Shot. Rooster Booster (2002) also won both races while other significant winners include Detroit City (2006), Sizing Europe (2007) and Khyber Kim (2009). The Greatwood Hurdle is due off at 3.00 at Cheltenham on Sunday 15th November and will be televised live on ITV.

Greatwood Hurdle Betting Trends

Rather like Saturday’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, the Greatwood has proved to be a minefield for punters with no winning favourite since Detroit City in 2006. The average winning SP over the past ten seasons has been over 11-1 with long-priced winners including Nietzche (2018) at 20-1 and Harambe (2019) at 16-1.

Horses aged four to six years have accounted for the last ten winners of this race at Cheltenham’s November meeting. Around two-thirds of recent winners had previous Cheltenham form and had raced within the previous six weeks. Trainers Philip Hobbs (4) and Paul Nicholls (3) have a good record in the race while Alan King has provided two of the last three winners.

Greatwood Hurdle form guide

Alan King bids to enhance his impressive recent record in this race with ante-post favourite Edwardstone. The six-year-old owes his place at the head of the Greatwood betting to a sixth place finish in last season’s Supreme Hurdle. The son of Kayf Tara had won at Wincanton and Aintree before being narrowly beaten in heavy ground at Haydock. He has shown a tendency to race keenly in the past but is potentially well handicapped.

His main market rival is Thyme White, trained by Paul Nicholls. The four-year-old also tends to take a keen hold and did not get home when fading in the Fred Winter Hurdle. He looked a different proposition on his reappearance when powering clear to beat The Pink’n by 3 lengths at Chepstow. The handicapper has reacted by raising him 11lbs but he looks capable of further improvement.

David Pipe’s Main Fact has swept all before him to rack up an eight-race winning sequence, all on soft or heavy ground. The first of those came over hurdles at Warwick in January when rated just 104. He was a wide margin winner off 132 at Uttoxeter in March and has since rattled off a hat-trick on the flat. Apart from the fact that he is now set to race off 147, his participation must be in doubt with the ground currently riding good.

Dan Skelton’s Proschema has attracted plenty of support in the Greatwood ante-post betting. He was heavily backed to score at Wetherby last month and cruised up to the leaders with two to jump. He could not overhaul Anemoi who has since won narrowly over fences. Proschema was a decent stayer on the flat when trained by Tom Dascombe and is handicapped to win races this season.

Tegerek was a good winner here for Jonjo O’Neill at the October meeting, beating the well-backed One True King by five and a half lengths. He has been raised 8lbs but that only takes him up to 10st 4lbs. Benny’s Bridge finished 22 lengths behind him that day but can be expected to finish a lot closer on Saturday. He is always held up in his races and suffered interference when attempting to close on the leaders. He started favourite last year but finished lame behind and is now 4lbs lower in the handicap.

Harambe won this race 12 months’ ago but has not raced since being brought down in the Betfair Hurdle in February. He was still in contention that day but races off a 6lbs higher mark than last year. Milkwood beat Ballinsker by 4 lengths at Ffos Las and meets that rival on 10lbs worse terms. He ran well when fourth to Sceau Royal at the same course next time where Ballyandy ran his usual game race in second. Ballyandy is set to shoulder top weight of 11st 12lbs this weekend.

Strong Glance travelled strongly over two and a half miles at Aintree last time before finishing second to Jacamar. He could appreciate the drop back in trip. Brian Ellison trained Nietzche to win this race and has high hopes for the novice Cormier. He was moderate on the flat but seems to have been galvanised by hurdling with two fluent success in minor events.

Philip Hobbs has a fine record in the Greatwood and is represented by Oakley, a close third at Wetherby recently. He is on a fair handicap mark while Sebastopol and Countister are others to consider in a wide open contest.

Greatwood Hurdle Tips

Thyme White was very impressive at Chepstow and is tipped to defy the handicapper. He should be able to settle with a fast pace guaranteed and there will be no excuses on account of fitness. Benny’s Bridge ran a lot better than his finishing position indicates on his comeback race and looks over-priced at 25-1.

 

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