We crunch the numbers ahead of Sunday's Unibet Greatwood Hurdle - courtesy of the Bettrends online Handicap Breakers service - to see who the trends say is the likely winner.
Perhaps the strongest trend associated with this race is that looking at age and whilst no one group has dominated, those aged between four and six have proved best to follow. The seven-year-old Khyber Kim is the only winner in the last decade to sit outside the desired bracket which doesn’t bode well for the trio of older horses in this year’s line-up, the seven-year-old Chesterfield and the two nine-year-olds The New One and Top Othe Ra.
In competitive handicaps fine margins can often make the difference and improving horses can often come out on top. The Greatwood is no different as seven of the last ten winners had no more than six starts prior to lining up here. Applying that stat to this year’s field leaves us with three horses, namely Jenkins, Mohaayed and Misterton.
Good recent form is something that has served many punters well down the years in handicaps and this race follows that trend. To narrow it down, six of the last ten winners had achieved a top four finish on their most recent outing. Of this year’s line-up, there are only three who miss the cut on this basis, namely Ivanovich Gorbatov, Project Bluebook and William H Bonney.
The final factor worthy of consideration is the betting and although there have been big-priced winners in the past, generally this race tends to centre around those towards the head of the betting. In fact six of the last ten winners were sent off at single figure SPs and with no winner in the last decade having been sent off any bigger than 12/1 it is probably best to let the market guide your selections.
All things considered, none of our contenders matches all of the trends but the one who gets the nod is MOHAAYED. On a rating of 137, he just misses out on the 140 benchmark but his overall form suggests he is up to this level. Also, despite having had only the six runs over hurdles to date, he has already run in the County Hurdle and the Scottish Champion Hurdle so the hustle and bustle of this race should pose no problems to him. Dan Skelton took this prize twelve months ago and he looks to have another leading fancy this time around.
Just missing out on the top spot is the likely favourite Jenkins. Nicky Henderson’s five-year-old has always been highly thought of by connections but his jumping let him down on a couple of occasions last year as he failed to live up to expectation. However, reports suggest his hurdling is much better now and despite being the least experienced runner in the field, he has to be respected.
Analysis provided by Bettrends’ Online Handicap Breakers Service – click here to view the full trends analysis