Wholestone tipped to outstay rivals in Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on Trials Day

Saturday 27th January, 2017 - 3:35pm Cheltenham - Cleeve Hurdle

Colin Tizzard trained Thistlecrack to victory in the 2016 Cleeve Hurdle, and he will aim to regain the coveted Cheltenham crown on Saturday with Finian's Oscar, who will return to the hurdling sphere after a far from impressive foray into the chasing ranks, but that raider will face a whole host of classy staying hurdlers on Festival Trials Day, which could produce some vital clues for the Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

  • Finian's Oscar returns to hurdles after chasing campaign
  • Wholestone won the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year's Day
  • Beer Goggles was a shock winner of the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury

Saturday 27th January - 3.35pm OddsWon/LostBet
Cleeve Hurdle    
Tips Wholestone to win    Best Bet @ 100 / 30  

Finian's Oscar Worth Taking On

Installed as the 3/1 favourite with Coral, Finian's Oscar is a really interesting contender, but while he won his opening two races over fences, he has since struggled to sparkle over the larger obstacles of late, and a return to hurdling is certainly an after-thought, as the Tizzard team look to build his confidence back up.

A Grade One-winning novice hurdler, Finians Oscar showed when outpaced in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown Park that he needs a trip, and improved over 2m 5f last time out when beaten by Benatar, but he may not relish the 3m trip in testing conditions at Cheltenham on Saturday afternoon, and having disappointed on his last two starts on a racecourse, he is certainly not a solid market leader, and is worth taking on.

Wholestone The One To Beat

Nigel Twiston-Davies will aim for more success at Prestbury Park, as he saddles Wholestone, and that performer relished the testing going at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, as he outbattled Agrapart (8/1) in the Relkeel Hurdle, and with soft conditions expected once again then the Naunton inmate can cement his place as a potential Stayers' Hurdle contender.

Wholestone is a 100/30 shot with Paddy Power for this prize, and he is certainly one that will relish the stamina test needed to win this race, and having been well backed for that Relkeel Hurdle, then if he gains significant support in the lead-up to the race, then that could see him shine once again, and he is the one to beat.

Best Of The Rest

Beer Goggles beat Wholestone in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, and they won't be a dry eye in the house should that raider win, as his trainer Richard Woollacott sadly passed away earlier this week, and will run under Richard's wife Kayley's name, and at 6/1 with Paddy Power has to be a cracking each-way bet.

Of the others, The Worlds End (6/1) and Thomas Campbell (8/1) will need to produce career bests if they are to play a part in the finish, but the latter does have winner form at the track this season, but may just fall below top class, while the gutsy Colin's Sister (12/1) is another that adds significant depth to the race that will see Wholestone cement his place a real candidate for the wide open Stayers' Hurdle in March.

2018 Cleeve Hurdle Odds

Posted: Friday, 26th January 2018
Author: Steve Chambo

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