Friday 18th March, 2.10pm, Cheltenham
The Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle is the second race coming from the Cheltenham Festival tomorrow. This race is held over two miles on the New Course at Cheltenham and as many as 26 runners will head to post.
As you’d expect, the betting is wide open here and the current favourite in the market is Superb Story at around 7/1.
This horse goes for Dan and Harry Skelton and was last seen when second here at Cheltenham back in November.
That was a good performance from the five-year-old and he has since been put away for this race. He could be off a decent mark, but I’m not sure I’d be taking the 7/1 about him right now.
Great Field is at 8/1 for Barry Geraghty and Willie Mullins and bolted up at Leopardstown last time out.
That was an impressive run from this five-year-old and he is very much unexposed with that being his first run for the trainer.
You can certainly see the case to be made for this horse.
Blue Hell is another Irish challenger and this horse is around the 10/1 mark. He was a three-length winner at Fairyhouse last time out and when you consider that the Coral Cup winner Diamond King was behind him on that day, it was a serious performance.
The handicapper has not missed this horse though as he is off a much higher mark here and could find it tough to compete off 20 pounds higher.
Wait For Me is a runner for Richard Johnson and Phillip Hobbs, who have had a frustrating Festival.
He is at 12/1 right now and has had a smooth prep over hurdles, only losing to the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle third Buveur D’Air back in November.
He’s been odds-on to win his last two races, but couldn’t have done any more than win and could be off a decent mark here. The yard form may be a concern, though.
Starchitect was second in the Betfair Hurdle last time out and although he’s off a six-pound higher mark here, the horse could still have a little more to show us. He is only running for this yard for the second time and the David Pipe yard has been going well.
Another interesting 14/1 shot is John Constable, who was second in a Listed Handicap back in November and has been put away since then.
Evan Williams thinks this horse is well handicapped and he will enjoy a bit of better ground here. He’s only five and off a low weight, so makes plenty of appeal.
Modus and All Yours have big chances for Paul Nicholls too and can both be backed around 16/1.
It’s 20/1 and over about the remainder.
Joe’s tip(s) for this race: [mepr-show if=”rule: 20415″] For us, GREAT FIELD could be unexposed and classy and looks value here, as does JOHN CONSTABLE.[/mepr-show] [mepr-active rule=”20415″ ifallowed=”hide”] Joe’s tips are only available to Gold members – You can apply for Gold membership here [/mepr-active]