1pt win West Cork @10/1, 1pt win Gua Du Large @33/1, 14:10 Cheltenham, Friday

2m1f (2m179y) (New) McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Ridiculously competitive as ever but I’m quite sweet on the chances of GUA DU LARGE at 33/1. He weaved through traffic to land a competitive handicap at Fairyhouse and the form has worked out really well. Five subsequent winners have come from the race and plenty of also rans went on to place in Dublin Racing Festival handicaps. He’s gone up 8lb in Ireland and the BHA have given him 137, but he’s lightly raced and remains unexposed so I suspect that could underestimate his chance. His price is huge partly because of ground concerns – he was pulled up on heavy earlier this season – but it’s drying spring ground at Cheltenham and I’m willing to chance he will be fine on it. Rather than go each way when there are some doubts about the ground, I’m two handed in this race with WEST CORK for the Skeltons. They’re deadly in 2m handicap hurdles and have won this several times in recent years. The form of West Cork’s Greatwood Hurdle is as hot as it comes and has produced a tonne of winners throughout the season, including the Mares’ Hurdle winner from Tuesday. West Cork disappointed last time out at Ascot when perhaps bouncing after a long time off – he also over reached – but back at Cheltenham he will be a different proposition. His mark of 141 is workable given his trainer’s insistence he’s a graded horse and he should give us a big run for our money at 10/1.

1pt win West Cork @10/1, 1pt win Gua Du Large @33/1, 14:10 Cheltenham, Friday

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