March 10 / 15.35 Exeter

15.35

Good

Virgin Bet Cheltenham Festival Money Back Handicap Hurdle

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

Runners: 8 runners

Type: Hurdle Turf

Surface: Turf

Weather: Rain

OUR TIP

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

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

1st

5

21st Dec 2023

Soft

2m 2f 111y

Class 3

14:25 Exeter

Issam

10st 13lb

J: Daryl Jacob

T: Tom Symonds

5lb higher than for his C&D success in March (good to soft); beaten 15l by a progressive winner on his return at Sandown (2m4f, soft) and might well come on for that run; hard to dismiss.

7/2

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

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

1st

2

12th Oct 2023

Good To Firm

2m 3f 48y

Class 3

14:50 Exeter

Opening Bid

11st 10lb

J: Bryan Carver

T: Chris Down

Found out by his career-high mark at Warwick (2m4f, good) but that was another very sound run in what's been a good season already; accurate jumper who has plenty going for him.

13/8

2nd

2

5th Oct 2023

Good

2m 4f 0y

Class 4

16:05 Warwick

Opening Bid

11st 12lb

J: Bryan Carver

T: Chris Down

Enjoying an excellent season and he made it 4-5 for the term with a cosy success in four-runner handicap chase at Newton Abbot (2m5f) 24 days ago; up 4lb but this sound jumper rates a player once more.

15/8

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

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

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

3rd

4

24th Nov 2023

Good To Soft

1m 7f 152y

Class 2

14:35 Ascot

Jilaijone

11st 0lb

J: Jack Tudor

T: David Pipe

Runner-up on last four starts, most recently a level-weights 4yo race at Cheltenham (2m, good to soft) when unfavoured by the terms; hit with a 7lb rise now back in a handicap but he's progressive and can be in the mix.

9/2

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

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: 51-646 D BF

Last run: 25 days

W: 11st 10lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 116

Form & Verdict
Only 3lb higher than when scoring in comfortable style last April but hasn't found top form in three outings this season; both wins on good but reportedly unsuited by it when beaten favourite at Catterick last month.
Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price
No Results Found

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

1st

4

9th Feb 2024

Good To Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 4

15:10 Kempton

Thunderclap

11st 12lb

J: David Bass

T: Hughie Morrison

Fairly useful on the Flat at his best and came good over hurdles with comfortable win in Sedgefield maiden (2m1f, heavy) last April; bettered disappointing seasonal/handicap debut when close fifth of seven at Catterick (1m7f, soft) but needs more again on this first venture beyond 2m1f.

16/1

5th

4

11th Jan 2024

Soft

1m 7f 156y

Class 4

15:40 Catterick

Thunderclap

12st 0lb

J: Jonathan Burke

T: Hughie Morrison

Tailed off on handicap hurdle debut at Bangor last month but may have needed that first run since last April, when he won a maiden hurdle at Sedgefield (2m1f, heavy); has potential off this mark judged on Flat ability.

7/2

Non-runners

American Gerry, Thunderclap

+o+e Accumulators

Payout
Exacta £7.80
Straight Forecast £9.64
Tricast £33.30
Trifecta £32.30

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