International Hurdle Preview. (Cheltenham) (14/12/2019)

Saturday 14th December 2019

Author: Jordan Yates
Image: Jordan Yates

Runner By Runner Guide


PENTLAND HILLS 

Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Jockey: Nico de Boinville

Odds: 6/4

Comments: “Triumph Hurdle winner here at The Festival back in March and followed up with a win in the Grade 1 Juvenile Hurdle at the Aintree Festival. A worthy favourite for the race and a big season looks very much on the cards.”

Runner Jacket


CH’TIBELLO

Trainer: Harry Skelton

Jockey: Dan Skelton

Odds: 11/4

Comments: “Won the Grade 3 County Hurdle at The Festival here in March, went on to post a fine effort in the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle when finishing third on his latest outing back in April. Big player on that  form.”

Runner Jacket


CALL ME LORD

Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Jockey: Daryl Jacob

Odds: 6/1

Comments: “Smart performer who often travels powerfully throughout his races. Was last seen finishing half a length second to If The Cap Fits in the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle at Ascot. Likely to be thereabouts once again here.”

Runner Jacket


ELIXIR DE NUTZ

Trainer: Colin Tizzard

Jockey: Harry Cobden

Odds: 7/1

Comments: “Winner of his last three starts last season which culminated with a win in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown when beating Grand Sancy. Missed the Spring Festivals but if ready to go arrives here a player at a track he has proven form at.”

Runner Jacket


MONSIEUR LECOQ

Trainer: Mrs Jane Williams

Jockey: Lizzie Kelly

Odds: 9/1

Comments: “Third in the Grade 3 Greatwood Hurdle here in November which is fair form. Needs to take a step up on Handicap form though if he is to play a part though.”

Runner Jacket


LE PATRIOTE

Trainer: Dr Richard Newland

Jockey: TBA

Odds: 12/1

Comments: “Winner of the Grade 3 Swinton Hurdle at Haydock and also Grade 2 Champion Hurdle Trial last season. Only fourth on reappearance in Coral Hurdle but will likely be more tuned up for that effort and is clearly capable on his day.”

Runner Jacket


GUMBALL

Trainer: Phillip Hobbs

Jockey: TBA

Odds: 16/1

Comments: “Fine start to the season with a win in a Listed success at Ascot and followed up with a close up second in the Greatwood here last month. A bit more to find here but a smart hurdler.”

Runner Jacket


BALLYANDY

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies

Jockey: TBA

Odds: 20/1

Comments: “Beaten over nine lengths in fourth on reappearance in Grade 2 at Wetherby. Hasn’t been in the winners’ enclosure since claiming a Handicap at Uttoxeter back in January, but ran a good race when third in the Coral Cup here at The Festival. Needs to improve on recent form.”

Runner Jacket


UMBRIGADO

Trainer: David Pipe

Jockey: TBA

Odds: 25/1

Comments: “Won three on the bounce last winter before trying more testing company. Not completely disgraced behind Reserve Tank at Aintree in April and was a decent fifth in Grade 3 on reappearance at Haydock. Does have a bit to find here though.”

Runner Jacket


BIG BLUE

Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Jockey: TBA

Odds: 50/1

Comments: “Australian challenger who will need to step up on all known form, could be somewhat of an unknown though and may surprise a few.”


Race Verdict

If turning up in the same form we’ve seen him in when winning the Triumph here in March then PENTLAND HILLS will prove very tough to beat. He proved that the win here in March was no fluke when following up in Grade 1 company at Aintree and starting off his campaign here has always been the plan. I fancy him to be good enough to get off to a winning start here on his way to the Champion Hurdle. ELIXR DE NUTZ is another that I envisage a big run off, he was prominent in the betting for the Supreme before being blighted by a lay-off and he won here at this meeting last year before going on to claim Grade 1 success. If tuned up he is very much a player. One that could outrun his odds is LE PATRIOTE for Dr Richard Newland. He’s a big price for this but has some solid form to his name in strong races, he could outrun his odds here.


Placings Prediction

1st: PENTLAND HILLS (6/4)
2nd: ELIXIR DE NUTZ (7/1)
3rd: LE PATRIOTE (12/1)


My Bet

ELIXIR DE NUTZ (7/1) (E/W)

“I’ve gone for a bit of value against the 6/4 favourite here despite thinking that he’ll probably win. Elxir De Nutz developed into one of my favourite horses last season and I think he could well have a good go from the front once more here, which is why I’m taking the each-way price on him.”

Runner Jacket


 

 

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