1pt win Rubaud @12/1, Betfair Hurdle, 11th Feb

2m½f  (2m69y) Betfair Hurdle (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race)  (Class 1) (4yo+)

Fast going could lead to a reduced field for this so there may be merit in taking an early price. Paul Nicholls’s RUBAUD has to be backed early at 12/1 as by the time Saturday swings round, I’d expect the horse that beat him at Kempton, Rare Edition, to be single digits for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham after winning the Sidney Banks at Huntingdon. Rare Edition put up stunning sectionals that day and Rubaud was only 7l behind on softer ground than he would like. The handicapper has given him a mark of 130 and if Rare Edition is as good as the clock suggests he is, Rubaud must have lots in hand. He’ll relish the fast ground, Harry Cobden will be sure to ride and novices have an outstanding record in this race. A change of the rules requires novices to have run four times over hurdles this year to qualify for open handicaps, so he is one of only a few in this year’s renewal and that has to be an advantage. His stablemate and recent Cheltenham winner Hacker Des Places is half the price in the betting but I fully expect Rubaud to go off shorter once the market becomes more liquid.

1pt win Rubaud @12/1, Betfair Hurdle, 11th Feb

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