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The Cheltenham Festival is just 1 week away, and connections are finalising their preparations as the greatest show on turf looms large!
Mares Hurdle - Love Envoi
I have been talking extensively about the Mares’ Hurdle and how it is stacked with quality, but the uncertainty about the race makes it exciting and perplexing in equal measure. Obviously Brandy Love is locked in for Armchair followers at 8/1 and I think she will have cracking claims. However, recent weather forecasts suggest there could be a deluge of rain in the few days beforehand, and given the aforementioned reasons why I have said I am against Honeysuckle (age) and Epatante (stamina), I think it is worth getting LOVE ENVOI onside.
The Harry Fry trained mare has Cheltenham Festival winning form on the CV, and connections will be doing a proper rain dance. If the rains do arrive she could start half the price she is, as she has a genuine love for the mud flying and is a class act on her day. She’s been in great form this season and will be a serious threat to all if given her favourite underfoot conditions.
Boodles Handicap Hurdle - Samuel Spade (Each Way)
Elsewhere on day one, it may pay to look for the bigger prices in the Handicaps, and with the Ben Pauling team having a stunning season, his juvenile, SAMUEL SPADE (EW) has claims in the Boodles. The Naunton Downs representative has won two of his three starts over Hurdles and his runner-up spot behind Perseus Way at Huntingdon on his penultimate start looks good form as that individual went on to be runner-up in the Adonis to Nusret.
He was trying to give 8lb to the Gary Moore horse at Huntingdon so in hindsight that was a cracking effort. He bolted up in a minor event at Huntingdon last time out (despite jumping right-handed), and so heading to a left-handed track looks an added bonus here. Off a mark of 126 he looks to be firmly in the mix and if we do end up with soft ground for the opening day, that shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience for this versatile individual at all.
Best of luck!
- Love Envoi, Mares Hurdle, Cheltenham Festival, 1pt win 7/1 (SpreadEx)
- Samuel Spade, Boodles Handicap Hurdle, Cheltenham Festival, 0.5pts e/w 20/1 (William Hill, 5 places)
*Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.
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