Oscar Whisky heads the betting for the 2013 Cleeve Hurdle

All being equal with the weather, Cheltenham will host an intriguing day of Festival Trials and an exciting renewal of the Grade Two Cleeve Hurdle on Saturday afternoon. Ten runners have been confirmed for the three mile contest and Nicky Henderson's Oscar Whisky heads the betting but he has plenty to prove after struggling over this distance in the World Hurdle at last year's Festival.

The two-time Aintree Hurdle hero has won both of his starts with ease this season as he cruised to victory at Ascot and Cheltenham. William Hill make him the 6/4 favourite to make it three from three for the season on Saturday but there are question marks over his ability to see out this three mile trip after he faded badly in the World Hurdle at last year's Cheltenham Festival.

That was his only previous effort at this distance and the preference could be for Nick Williams' 9/4 shot Reve De Sivola, who will appreciate a stiff test of stamina. The 8-year-old has been excellent since returning to hurdles as he finished a creditable second to the irrepressible Big Buck's at Newbury before landing the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot by a comfortable 14 lengths last month.

Kauto Stone (8/1) is also expected to improve for a return to hurdles after the JNWine Chase winner produced a poor showing in the King George VI at Kempton last time out. The 7-year-old is set to make his first appearance over timber since joining Paul Nicholls from France, where he excelled over hurdles.

Lovcen is another who makes a return to hurdles this weekend and Alan King's gelding could offer each-way value at 25/1 with Hills. The 8-year-old has struggled over fences this season but his progressive form over hurdles last season suggests he could be worth a look on Saturday. Lovcen won a couple of handicap hurdles before finishing a respectable fourth in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham Festival, while he continued on an upward curve when winning the Grade One Sefton Novices at Aintree.

Alan King also goes with Walkon this weekend and the 8/1 shot should enjoy the testing ground conditions. The 8-year-old is bidding to get back to winning ways after finishing runner-up to Al Ferof in the PaddyPower Chase before finishing second to Unioniste here in December.

Kentford Grey Lady (14/1) has impressed at Cheltenham in the past as she finished second to Quevega in the David Nicholson Mares last year, although she will have to improve on her third place finish in listed company last time out. Crack Away Jack is also looking to improve for Tom George as the 14/1 shot was well beaten by Oscar Whisky at Wetherby last time out.

Saturday's racecard is completed by 2011 Cleeve runner-up Knockara Beau (25/1), as well as outside bets Cross Kennon (33/1) and Carruthers (40/1), although it is Reve De Sivola who could thrive at this trip, with Lovcen the each-way pick at long odds back over hurdles.

2013 Cleeve Hurdle Odds

6/4 Oscar Whisky
9/4 Reve De Sivola
6/1 Kauto Stone
8/1 Walkon
14/1 Kentford Grey Lady
14/1 Crack Away Jack
25/1 Lovcen
25/1 Knockara Beau
33/1 Cross Kennon
40/1 Carruthers

Odds supplied by WilliamHill.com, with best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing.

Posted: Friday, 25th January 2013
Author: Chris James

Archive - Previous 5 Horse-racing Articles

Our Mick Looks Overpriced For McCain Murphy Group Chase Odds Bold Sir Brian bids for Cheltenham glory
Our Mick Looks Overpriced For McCain
25th Jan
Imperial Commander Makes Long Awaited Return At Cheltenham Tempting odds for Grands Crus to get back to winning ways in the Argento Chase
Imperial Commander Makes Long Awaited Return At Cheltenham
25th Jan
Benefficient Completes The Trio At Leopardstown Arvika Ligeonniere odds on for clash with Oscars Well in Irish Arkle
Benefficient Completes The Trio At Leopardstown
25th Jan
Sanctuaire And Somersby Are The Main Dangers Victor Chandler Chase Betting Sprinter Sacre ready to sparkle at Cheltenham
Sanctuaire And Somersby Are The Main Dangers
25th Jan
Willie Mullins Looking For Third Win In A Row Galmoy Hurdle Odds Bog Warrior can get the better of Zaidpour at Gowran
Willie Mullins Looking For Third Win In A Row
23rd Jan

Headline News

Gritty Atletico Looking To Protect 1-0 Champions League Semi-Final Lead Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid Odds German Giants Look The Value To Qualify
Gritty Atletico Looking To Protect 1-0 Champions League Semi-Final Lead
Top Ten Football Market Movers Champions Leicester are a long shot for the 2017 Premier League title
Top Ten Football Market Movers
Best Weekend Premier League XI Wes Morgan is the rock for our Premier League Team Of The Week
Best Weekend Premier League XI
Stealing XI (A Leav In) Worst Premier League Starting XI Of The Year
Stealing XI (A Leav In)
Who Should Partner Alastair Cook In England's First Test Match? Adam Lyth should return to opener spot for England this summer
Who Should Partner Alastair Cook In England's First Test Match?

Open a Paddy Power account by using any link on this site, have a bet of £10 and they will give you a £30 free bet.

Open Account - £30 Free Bet

Open an new betting account with the bookmaker Ladbrokes and you can claim a £50 free bet.

Open Account - £50 Free Bet

Claim a sign up bonus offer of £200 with bet365.

  • bet365 match your first deposit with a 100% bonus
  • Deposit anywhere between £10 and £200 to claim this massive offer

Open Account - £200 Sign Up Offer

Open an account with Coral and get £30 in free bets:

  • Click on a link to Coral
  • Open a new betting account
  • Have your first bet of £10
  • Coral will credit your account with £30 in free bets

Open Account - £30 Free Bet

Open an account with online bookmaker BetVictor and get £25 in free bets. BetVictor will match your first bet with a free bet to the same value, up to a maximum of £25.

Open Account - £25 in Free Bets

Get up to £40 in free bets with Sky Bet:

  • Sign up to Sky Bet and have a £10 bet.
  • Skybet will then reward you with four £10 free bet tokens

Open Account - Free £40 Bet

Betway are offering a free £30 bet on their online betting service

  • Open account and place an initial bet of £10 or more
  • Boylesports will match your first with a free bet of up to £30

Open Account - £30 Free Bet - Betway

Online Casino

Online Casino Blackjack and Roulette Games

Those looking for some online casino entertainment ought to check out all the latest UK Casino Sign Up offers from the top operators including 32Red and many of the sports betting casinos.

There is excellent information, should you be interested in playing online blackjack, roulette, the best progressives or slots - Online Casino Betting with the best introductory offers

Sports Calendar - Betting Fixtures