Cheltenham Handicap weights 2022 – Eye-catchers in the five handicap hurdles
The weights have been announced for the nine handicap races at the Cheltenham Festival 2022. The Cheltenham handicaps are notable for some major gambles so we have taken a look through the weights to see where the market movers might come from this year. Here is our early look at the weights for the five festival handicap hurdle races.
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Hms Seahorse 12-1 (NRNB)
The weights for the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle are headed by the Triumph Hurdle-bound Fil Dor and Knight Salute. They are followed by Icare Allen, rated just 3lbs below Fil Dor and 2lbs higher than The Tide Turns. Interestingly, The Tide Turns finished narrowly in front of Icare Allen off level weights at Leopardstown.
Hms Seahorse was beaten less than three lengths by The Tide Turns at Punchestown and is allowed a generous 9lbs here. The ante-post gamble on the Willie Mullins-trained Gaelic Warrior shows no signs of abating after he was allocated 10st 11lb.
Coral Cup – Camprond 14-1 (NRNB)
A massive 110 entries to be whittled down to just 26 here! Among those looking doubtful for a place in the field are ante-post favourite Good Risk At All (66), the well-backed Winter Fog (55) and Lanzarote Hurdle winner Cobblers Dream (72). There are no such fears for Good Time Jonny, although how pleased Tony Martin will be with a 17lbs higher mark remains to be seen! Unexpected Party is up 12lbs for his cosy Ascot success but is guaranteed a run as a result.
The Greatwood Hurdle form has been boosted again and again this season and fourth-placed Camprond catches the eye here. He gets in off the same mark of 140, a race in which he finished in front of big handicap winners Tritonic and Glory And Fortune. He is currently number 45 in the list so at least has a chance of sneaking in.
Pertemps Network Final – Winter Fog 12-1 (NRNB)
Two-time winner Sire Du Berlais could attempt to equal the three victories of Cheltenham favourite Willie Wumpkins, despite being set top weight. He is rated 4lbs higher than for his second success in 2020 but Trainer Gordon Elliott is likely to employ a 7lbs claimer to reduce the burden.
Any plans that Emmet Mullins had for Winter Fog in the Coral Cup may have been scuppered by the weights but he is guaranteed a run here with a weight of 10st 8lbs. He is 10lbs higher than his eye-catching run at Leopardstown but is 4lbs better off with the winner, Panda Boy.
County Hurdle – Slip Of The Tongue 14-1 (NRNB)
Bookmakers seem convinced that Willie Mullins will run the novice State Man here off a potentially lenient mark of 141. He has been cut to 6-1 favourite ahead of Gordon Elliott’s Top Bandit at 7-1. Both stables have a massive entry and running plans are unlikely to be clarified until the weekend before Cheltenham.
The form of Slip Of The Tongue and Deploy The Getaway at Punchestown could prove interesting if either drop into handicap company. Slip Of The Tongue almost unseated Mark Walsh at the last and is weighted to confirm the form.
Martin Pipe Hurdle – Good Risk At All 11-1 (NRNB)
The Martin Pipe entry is also colossal at 110, another race where Mullins and Elliott have numerous entries. Good Risk At All has a better chance of sneaking in here from number 48 and a gamble could gather momentum on the recent Ascot winner. We recommend taking advantage of the “non-runner – no bet” concession offered by most bookmakers for all of your Cheltenham Festival wagers.