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15:35 Exeter

Good

Virgin Bet Cheltenham Festival Money Back Handicap Hurdle

  • Prize money: £5809.1
  • 2m 0f 161y
  • Class 4
  • 8 runners
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Virgin Bet Cheltenham Festival Money Back Handicap Hurdle

Runners: 8 runners

Type: Hurdle Turf

Surface: Turf

Weather: Rain

5/2 (Won)

  • Win: £2.25
  • Place: £1.20

Form: 12 D

Last run: 72 days

W: 11st 11lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 117

Form & Verdict

Won sole start in Irish points and beat a subsequent winner on British/hurdling debut in November; just denied at Leicester the following month and now makes handicap debut off what looks a fair mark; shortlisted.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

1

13th May 2023

Good To Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 3

19:25 Warwick

Red Dirt Road

12st 0lb

J: Jonjo O’Neill Jr

T: Jonjo O’Neill

2-4 over hurdles, the latter win gained by 12l on handicap debut at Exeter (2m, good) in March; very creditable fourth in good-quality Cheltenham novice when upped to 2m4f last month; ought to play a major role.

9/2

4th

6

19th Apr 2023

Good To Soft

2m 4f 56y

Class 2

15:15 Cheltenham

Red Dirt Road

11st 6lb

J: Jonjo O’Neill Jr

T: Jonjo O’Neill

took keen hold, led narrowly, edged right after 3 out, pushed along and headed before 2 out, ridden and rallied approaching last, weakened run-in

8/1

1st

3

10th Mar 2023

Good

2m 0f 161y

Class 4

15:35 Exeter

Red Dirt Road

11st 11lb

J: Jonjo O’Neill Jr

T: Jonjo O’Neill

Won sole start in Irish points and beat a subsequent winner on British/hurdling debut in November; just denied at Leicester the following month and now makes handicap debut off what looks a fair mark; shortlisted.

5/2

6/1

  • Place: £2.80

Form: P-17P2 D

Last run: 29 days

W: 11st 9lb

5 yo Gelding

OR: 115

Form & Verdict

Two French hurdle wins and easily the pick of three efforts in Britain when second at Ffos Las a month ago, when seeming to find 2m4f just too far; repeat of that puts him in the reckoning, at least.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1st

6

8th Apr 2024

Heavy

2m 3f 179y

Class 3

16:08 Wincanton

Issam

11st 9lb

J: Jordan Nailor

T: Tom Symonds

Had crept up the weights and was found out in a competitive handicap at Ascot last time (2m3f, good to soft); however, he won't mind returning to softer conditions and first-time cheekpieces might trigger something.

12/1

15th

10

17th Feb 2024

Good To Soft

2m 3f 58y

Class 2

14:25 Ascot

Issam

10st 8lb

J: Jordan Nailor

T: Tom Symonds

Likeable 6yo whose Exeter win (2m2f, soft) in December was his fourth over hurdles from 11 attempts; followed that with a good second at Sandown (2m4f, soft) four weeks ago; likely to give his running once more but he's creeping up the weights and this is much the most competitive field he's faced.

14/1

2nd

5

26th Jan 2024

Soft

2m 3f 173y

Class 3

15:35 Sandown

Issam

11st 8lb

J: Jordan Nailor

T: Tom Symonds

Probably needed his comeback third here and then won with a bit up his sleeve at Exeter (2m2f, soft), for which a 4lb rise is fair; that's two wins in three runs and he's beginning to click.

7/1

Form: 722P13 D

Last run: 27 days

W: 11st 3lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 109

Form & Verdict

Consistent hurdler and followed his game Uttoxeter win with a close third at Warwick (goes well there); remains on a fair mark and should run well but others in this line-up are less exposed.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

7th

12

11th May 2024

Good

2m 5f 0y

Class 3

19:05 Warwick

Opening Bid

11st 0lb

J: Bryan Carver

T: Chris Down

raced in second

14/1

4th

5

26th Apr 2024

Good

2m 3f 98y

Class 3

18:10 Chepstow

Opening Bid

11st 1lb

J: Bryan Carver

T: Chris Down

Good strike-rate of 5-13 over fences and both the ground (good to soft) and company (Grade 2) were excuses when pulled up at Wincanton in November; a prolific run during the last 12 months has seen his mark rise and he'll need to be right on the ball back from his break after a wind op.

8/1

0

5

11th Nov 2023

Soft

2m 4f 35y

Class 1

13:50 Wincanton

Opening Bid

11st 4lb

J: Bryan Carver

T: Chris Down

led, headed but prominent 5th, lost position and dropped to rear 8th, soon detached, pulled up before 12th

33/1

OUR TIP

Form: 411-2P D BF

Last run: 40 days

W: 12st 0lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 120

Form & Verdict

His Wincanton second in December reads very well but problems at Southwell the following month (2m4f+), when he lost his action; best forgiven that mishap and the earlier effort makes him very interesting.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

7th

10

17th Apr 2024

Good To Soft

2m 7f 213y

Class 2

15:50 Cheltenham

Shallow River

10st 11lb

J: Bradley Harris

T: Harriet Dickin

towards rear

9/1

1st

12

11th Feb 2024

Heavy

2m 7f 25y

Class 2

15:35 Exeter

Shallow River

10st 2lb

J: Bradley Harris

T: Anthony Charlton

No win since January 2022 but a very solid sequence this season under Bradley Harris, with last six starts including four seconds; wore cheekpieces last three outings; stayed on well for a close third in the Warwick qualifier four weeks ago but he was no match for Goshhowposh on the run-in at Wincanton time before and a 2lb swing should not be enough to turn the tables.

8/1

3rd

8

13th Jan 2024

Soft

3m 1f 0y

Class 2

13:49 Warwick

Shallow River

10st 8lb

J: Bradley Harris

T: Anthony Charlton

Runner-up three times in a row this autumn and also ran creditably when upped to 2m7f/3m on last two outings, second again at Wincanton on latest; ridden in all those five races by Bradley Harris; wore cheekpieces last two; while needing respect for consistency, some improvement is needed for a first handicap win.

9/1

Form: 531324

Last run: 22 days

W: 11st 1lb

4 yo Gelding

OR: 117

Form & Verdict

Four creditable efforts since arriving in Britain; close second at Hereford on handicap debut and not disgraced at Sandown last month; may need a shade more to win this but entitled to consideration.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

3

15th Mar 2024

Good To Soft

2m 0f 3y

Class 3

16:25 Fakenham

Jilaijone

11st 13lb

J: Jack Tudor

T: David Pipe

Progressive in the first half of this season, with his place finishes at Cheltenham and Ascot (the latter off 3lb higher) reading especially well in today's context; chance dropping sharply in class from the Betfair Hurdle of last time, but not easy to win with (1-14).

8/1

13th

18

10th Feb 2024

Soft

2m 0f 69y

Class 1

15:15 Newbury

Jilaijone

10st 13lb

J: Jack Tudor

T: David Pipe

Normally consistent but his form dipped sharply in the Sandown race won by Spirit D'Aunou last time; fairly exposed and has managed only one win from 13 appearances; opposed in this hot handicap.

66/1

0

6

9th Dec 2023

Soft

1m 7f 216y

Class 2

14:25 Sandown

Jilaijone

10st 6lb

J: Jack Tudor

T: David Pipe

Successful in Fontwell juvenile hurdle on British debut a year ago; 0-9 since but has proved consistent, most recently third at Ascot (1m7f, good); holds place possibilities off same mark.

9/1

Form: 815/PP D

Last run: 73 days

W: 12st 1lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 121

Form & Verdict

Has been pulled up in both starts this season after a long absence (too free in the first, soft ground reportedly unsuitable in the second); may yet return to form but obvious risks until he gives more positive signs.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

7th

3

11th Oct 2023

Good

1m 7f 169y

Class 4

14:10 Ludlow

Paros

11st 12lb

J: Luke Scott

T: Dr Richard Newland

jumped right throughout, took keen hold, led, headed 3 out, weakened quickly before 2 out

10/1

3rd

3

1st Sep 2023

Good

2m 1f 162y

Class 4

15:38 Fontwell

Paros

11st 10lb

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

T: Dr Richard Newland

raced in third and jumped slightly right throughout, not fluent 1st, weakened after 2 out

4/1

0

2

16th Jul 2023

Soft

2m 0f 0y

Class 4

14:30 Perth

Paros

11st 12lb

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

T: Dr Richard Newland

didn't jump well, led, headed before 2 out, weakening when fell last

6/5

Form: 674

Last run: 46 days

W: 11st 4lb

5 yo Gelding

OR: 110

Form & Verdict

Lost his way on the Flat last year and yet to be placed after three attempts over hurdles (long way behind Red Dirt Road in the second of them); better when fourth at Ffos Las latest and could be a different proposition now handicapping off 110 (recorded RPR of 92 at his peak on the Flat).

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

4

16th Apr 2024

Heavy

2m 7f 191y

Class 4

16:50 Ffos Las

Thunderclap

11st 8lb

J: David Bass

T: Hughie Morrison

Ridden clear to win over 2m5f at Kempton (soft) in February and wasn't disgraced in a stronger handicap than this back there in March; has won on heavy and if he can last home over this trip then he won't be far away.

8/1

7th

12

16th Mar 2024

Good To Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 2

14:10 Kempton

Thunderclap

10st 2lb

J: Ben Jones

T: Hughie Morrison

2lb out of the handicap today and tailed off at Newbury a fortnight ago; however, conditions were extremely attritional and prior to that he won in good style over this C&D (soft) when upped in trip; no forlorn hope.

25/1

6th

6

1st Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 118y

Class 4

13:50 Newbury

Thunderclap

11st 11lb

J: Niall Houlihan

T: Hughie Morrison

Fairly useful on the Flat at his best and best effort over hurdles came on latest start when winning comfortably at Kempton (2m5f, soft; acts on heavy) on first venture beyond 2m1f; up 6lb but on the shortlist.

11/4

Terms and conditions

*Odds displayed on this page are sourced directly from online bookmakers. Please check all details before placing your bet(s). 18+ only.

Non-runners

American Gerry, Thunderclap

+o+e Accumulators

Payout
Exacta £78.00
Straight Forecast £96.40
Tricast £333.00
Trifecta £323.00

Selections

RP Ratings:

Red Dirt Road

TOPSPEED:

Issam

POSTDATA:

Jilaijone

SPOTLIGHT:

Shallow River

WEST COUNTRY:

Red Dirt Road

The Times:

Red Dirt Road

Telegraph:

Red Dirt Road

The Guardian:

Red Dirt Road

Daily Mail:

Red Dirt Road

D Express:

Red Dirt Road

Daily Mirror:

Red Dirt Road

The Sun:

Red Dirt Road

Daily Record:

Red Dirt Road

The Star:

Issam