This is an ultra-competitive renewal of the Greatwood Hurdle and it’s set to be run at a blistering pace on the final day of the November meeting.
Verdana Blue is the current favourite and has looked better and better this year having had her preferred ground. She’s the class horse in the field, and should put in another bold show under a five pound penalty for her success last week.
I fancy her to run well, but she doesn’t hold the typical profile of a Greatwood winner and might just struggle to carry her big weight up-the-hill.
This normally goes to a second-season hurdler and WESTERN RYDER has very solid credentials if able to build on his performances as a novice.
They included victory over the classy Lalor here last December, as well as several decent runs in graded races. In fact, Western Ryder’s best form has been at this track going down fifth to Fayonagh in the Champion Bumper in 2017 before running a cracker (despite being hampered) to finish sixth in the Supreme last season.
An opening mark of 145 may turn out to be lenient given how highly regarded he is by his handler, Warren Greatrex and he has a strong chance now handicapping. There is a risk he may need the run so at his current odds, he’s a bet to win.
I want to be double handed given the depth in the race and last year’s winning trainer Alan King could have one that is also ahead of the handicapper in DEYRANN DE CARJAC, who must surely have scope off an opening handicap rating of 128.
He broke his maiden tag at the third time of asking, winning on-the-bridle, by 20 lengths at Warwick on his final run last season. He had shown promise before then going down to the likes of Kalashnikov on his debut.
Deyrann De Carjac opened this season with a very good performance to push the highly rated Pym in a novice affair when giving him 6lbs. The winner has since gone on to run a blinder at this meeting on Friday in a Grade 2 and our selection looks well-in on that evidence. Both of those starts were on good ground and he should be the type to relish the fast gallop that he’s likely to encounter today.
Deyrann De Carjac has the profile of a likely improver over hurdles this year, and although his lack of experience is against him, he is worth chancing at shortening odds of 10/1 for Wayne Hutchinson.
1pt win Western Ryder @13/2, 15:00 Cheltenham, Sunday (six places, 1/5 odds with Paddy Power)
1pt each-way Deyrann De Carjac @10/1, 15:00 Cheltenham, Sunday (six places, 1/5 odds with Paddy Power)
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