Author: Will Smith
Published: 14:12 06/01/2015
Phillip Hobbs has already had a fantastic season, bagging any number of big races and mopping up plenty of lesser ones too. He could well be in for another good Saturday as he saddles the most appealing bet in the Lanzarote Hurdle.
There has already been a bit of a nibble for Hello George and at 9/1 with Totesport he is well worth backing now, as he could be the type that punters will latch onto in the week leading up to the race. Plus backing him each-way now secures four places in a race that might well have less than 16 declarations.
The case for Hello George is compelling. He entered handicap company in the ultra-competitive Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot three weeks ago, and acquitted himself very respectably. It was notable that he settled much better off the faster pace of a big handicap, in comparison to the small field novice hurdles he had been contesting.
Outpaced on the run out of Swinley Bottom, it was notable the progression he made up the straight, leaving the strong impression he would relish a step up in trip. His breeding adds further credence to this idea. His sire Westerner won an 'Ascot Gold Cup' in 2005 when it was run at York, and his dam is related to 3m+ winners over jumps and is herself out of a Stayers' Hurdle winner.
So it is a great sign that Hello George has been running so well over 2 miles, and must be backed to win his first start at a staying distance off a handicap mark of 129, as his trainer Hobbs felt that he could develop into his Neptune Novices' Hurdle horse for the Cheltenham Festival.
There should be a strong pace for Hello George to aim at, and he has already displayed an ability to travel at 2m pace, so he will love cruising alongside these slightly slower rivals.
One of the trail blazers, Kilcooley, should he run, will do us two favours. Firstly, he will ensure a strong pace, and secondly he means Hello George will have the lovely minimum racing weight of 10 stone.
The dangers include Tea For Two, but he needs to respect his obstacles to win a race of this nature. So it is left to the juicy 9/1 about Hello George to provide another profitable Saturday.
Lanzarote Hurdle - Hello George (each-way) - 9/1 (Totesport)