RACING boff Gaurav Chaddah (@Gchaddahjourno) shares his thoughts on the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, the penultimate race on Day 2.
Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle | Wednesday 13th March 2019, 16:50
A competitive renewal as ever with the Irish sending a big team over as they aim to address their poor record in the race, with eight of the last 11 winners coming from British trainers.
Joseph O’Brien again holds a strong hand here, with the favourite Band of Outlaws (13/2 Bet Victor) and has respected horses in the market in the shape of Fine Brunello (10/1 888 Sport) and Star Max (16/1 Unibet.)
Whist he must be respected, this race can often deliver bigger priced winners and it’s worth looking down in the betting, and down in the handicap, with six of the last seven winners returning at prices between 20/1 to 40/1 and seven of the last eight winners coming from the bottom half of the weights.
Paul Nichols has an impressive strike rate in this race, winning it on three occasions from the last nine and the former champion trainer is in great form and it may be worth chancing with his runner, Dogon each-way (22/1 William Hill).
He will run with a tongue tie which is sure to help and is still rather unexposed, with him set to have only his third start for the season. He ran at Cheltenham in January on his first start in Britain and was pulled up before running much better in a novice hurdle at Wincanton last time. All his best form in France is on soft ground and there could be a lot more to come.
It’s also worth considering another trainer with a good record in this race, Alan King, who saddles Praceps, again each-way (25/1 Sky Bet).
An ex-flat horse, he’s had three starts for King and will relish the soft ground and will much prefer Cheltenham to Kempton, where last time he finished third in a Grade 2 hurdle. That day he finished just behind Beat The Judge (25/1 Bet Victor) but I am more than confident that in the receipt of more weight and natural progression, he can reverse those placings.
Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Dogon each-way (22/1 William Hill)
Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Praceps each-way (25/1 SkyBet)