After making profits on Saturday following Perfect Candidate's win, Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday.
The Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle takes centre stage on the final day of the November Meeting at Cheltenham on Sunday and old favourite The New One will try and give significant weight to everything in the field under Richard Johnson.
He only made his handicap debut last time at Ffos Las where he won off a 3lb lower mark, while he’s the only obvious frontrunner in this with Johnson likely to take the bull by the horns from an early stage.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ stalwart is a fascinating contender, but if he manages to give weight to a posse of unexposed and improving hurdlers it will be one of his greatest achievements in a career that has yielded 19 victories and nearly £1,000,000 in earnings thus far.
Jenkins has been the one for money, but, while he could be absolutely thrown in off his bumper and Newbury maiden hurdle form, his jumping will be put under serious pressure in the white-hot atmosphere of a Greatwood and his inexperience has to be a concern at prices south of 5/1.
This is another wide-open race and chances can be given to Mohaayed, London Prize, Misterton and more, but the one that I like is the 14/1 (General 1/4 1,2,3,4 in most places) about Brian Ellison’s NIETZSCHE.
Third in the Fred Winter at the Festival, he might well have won that race with a fluent leap at the last after he travelled well in a prominent position just off the pace for most of the contest. Pulled out to challenge in open space up the hill, he fiddled the final obstacle and it ultimately cost him.
That Fred Winter form is good, though. The winner, Flying Tiger, who reopposes here, came out and ran a fine race when third in the Elite Hurdle last week, while the runner-up, Divin Bere, finished a close second to Defi Du Seuil in the Grade One Anniversary Hurdle at Aintree.
The trio were five lengths clear of the fourth and this has been the plan for Nietzsche ever since, a couple of runs on the Flat putting him spot on for this assignment.
Rain on Saturday has further turned the ground on the soft side and that has swung conditions in Nietzsche’s favour as, though he ran perfectly well on good to soft at the Festival, there’s little doubt he prefers plenty more dig in the turf.
Rated just 6lb higher than his mark in the Fred Winter, excellent claimer James Bowen, who was in the winners’ enclosure again after Thomas Campbell won here on Saturday, takes five of those pounds off so he looks nicely treated for a second-season hurdler firmly on the upgrade.
And, the good thing is, four-year-olds have a good recent record in this, especially when they have been claimer ridden. Three four-year-olds have won this race in the last six years, with two of those, Brampour and Old Guard, ridden by 7lb claimers.
The rest of the card is good but doesn’t really lend itself to finding one at a decent price.
I thought all week I’d be backing Capitaine in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial, but I’m not sure about him on the soft ground, while I’m in no rush to take Fox Norton on as he goes for his second successive Shloer Chase.
The same goes for Nicky Henderson’s Dame De Compagnie in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle.
Henderson unleashed flying juvenile filly Apple’s Shakira at Cheltenham on Saturday and this year older filly could be just as promising judging by her never-off-the-bridle success at Uttoxeter last time.
It’s hard to weigh up that form, but the time was good relative to a handicap hurdle over the same distance on the same card and given she didn’t come out of second gear she could be another winner in this race for Henderson, who landed it with Vyta Du Roc in 2014 and Altior two years ago.
Value Bet selections: Cheltenham November Meeting Day Three
Sky Bet Price Promise
Sky Bet are offering EXTRA VALUE to followers of the Sporting Life Value Bet column with guaranteed advertised prices for at least 15 minutes from 1715 BST on the day of publication.
Ben Linfoot's Value Bet aim: The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK. Running total: +383.89pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 GMT on 18/11/17.