Greatwood Hurdle Horse Race PreviewPublished November 15, 2017
Providing most of the principles stand their ground for Sunday’s Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham the extended two mile contest looks set to prove one of the highlights of the national hunt season with a quality turnout that would not be out of place in any handicap at the Cheltenham Festival. Unfortunately the anticipated return of JCB Triumph Hurdle winner Defi Du Seuil has been postponed for a week following a change of heart by connections.
The high-class The New One heads the weights on 11st 12lb but Nigel Twiston-Davies’ stable favourite will have his work cut out to concede upwards of just short of two stone to the opposition, a fact mirrored by his latest odds of 20-1 ( William Hill ). The big ante-post gamble has been on the Nicky Henderson-trained Jenkins and despite some pessimistic comments from his handler on Tuesday the five-year-old is now as short as 7-2 with bet365, although 5-1 is still available with the sponsor and 888sport.
While Defi Du Seuil will head for Ascot next Saturday instead of Prestbury Park his owner JP McManus could still have three representatives. Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Joseph O’Brien is likely to be double-handed with the McManus pair of Tigris River and Ivanovich Gorbatov (both 16-1 chances with Skybet) and it would be no surprise to see either run a big race, a remark which also applies to another McManus possible in the John Quinn inmate Project Bluebook (20-1 generally).
It is another potential northern raider however who makes the most appeal at around the 14-1 mark in the Brian Ellison-trained Nietzsche. His shrewd handler has been quick to book the services of the talented 7lb claimer James Bowen for his four-year-old who has valuable course form having finished a narrow third in the Fred Winter at this year’s festival.
A couple of recent spins on the Flat should have put the Poet’s Voice gelding spot-on for his first major target of the season and with just 9st 7lb on his back ( including his riders allowance ) a big run looks guaranteed.