The handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival are all fiercely competitive affairs and take plenty of solving, in particular the Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle on Wednesday afternoon. Twenty two unexposed four-year-olds will go to post for the two mile contest which was introduced into the festival in 2005, mainly to accommodate those horses who failed to make the cut for the more prestigious Triumph Hurdle on the Friday.
Ladbrokes have the Paul Nicholls-trained Act Of Valour and Nube Negra from the Dan Skelton stable as their 8-1 joint favourites and both boast strong claims. The former gave Triumph Hurdle fancy We Have A Dream a race at Musselburgh last time while the latter is two from three over hurdles, the son of Dink’s only defeat coming at Cheltenham when failing to match strides with Triumph Hurdle market leader Apple’s Shakira. It would be no surprise to see either horse go close but at single figure odds in a wide open race it could pay to look elsewhere for a value alternative.
Northern challenger Look My Way (12-1 with Boylesports) would probably be a lot shorter if trained by one of the bigger stables following a cracking effort on the course behind the Triumph Hurdle favourite back in January while Esprit De Somoza and Lisp are of interest at around the 16-1 mark. One horse who may have been underestimated by bookmakers at 33-1 however is joint top weight Casa Tall who recently joined trainer Tom George from France.
The No Risk At All gelding has shown gradual improvement since making his debut at Bordeaux in September, winning his two most recent starts, the most impressive being a six and a half length victory back at that course in November on heavy ground. The unexposed juvenile clearly handles testing conditions and has the services of top conditional James Bowen, making his current odds an attractive proposition.
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Look My Way is bound for the Cheltenham Festival in Marchhttps://t.co/gGvV8Z4tDq— ITV Racing (@itvracing) January 31, 2018