THE penultimate race of the meeting! We got Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) to look at it for us.
Cheltenham 16:40 | Martin Pipe Hurdle | Channel 4
Willie Mullins, like every race it appears these days, has a tremendous recent record in this, winning it twice in the last four years. He’s responsible for the favourite this year Roi Des Francs with son Danny on board.
A Grade 3 winner at Clonmel on his final start he is a typically progressive novice from the stable, but at 4/1 in a competitive handicap I’m looking elsewhere for the winner.
With just 9lbs separating the entire field it is incredibly tight, and with plenty of fancy prices on offer I’m going to select two at each way prices.
Jolly’s Cracked It from the Harry Fry stable won two Ascot hurdles before being pitched into Grade 1 company in the Tolworth Hurdle. He was firmly put in his place by the Supreme Novice fourth L’Ami Serge but it was a solid effort for his third jumps race.
He then ran in the Betfair Hurdle, where he was badly outpaced early on before running on late in the day to come fifth behind some hardened handicappers.
I feel that experience will prove invaluable coming in to this race and he will be lining up today as a much wiser horse. The extra four furlongs will help bring his stamina into play and I see him running a big race and is a solid each way bet at 19/1.
Forthefunofit is the least experienced member of the field, but this also means he is the least exposed. Never out of the first three on his five career starts he has improved with every visit to the race course, and if he can remain on this upward curve then he will be in contention at the finish.
Patrick Cowley is a young jockey I like, and the fact he can claim 5lbs is a huge advantage in this field. At 12/1 he is another great each way bet on this final day of the festival.