2019 Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle tips – Two against the field in Sunday’s feature at Cheltenham
Brian Healy takes a look through the field for this year’s Greatwood Hurdle and picks out two runners to back with race sponsors Unibet.
One of the feature races on the final day of the Cheltenham November Meeting is the competitive Grade Three Greatwood Handicap Hurdle which goes to post at 3.00pm as the fifth race of the afternoon on a cracking racecard.
Sponsored by bookmaker Unibet and boasting a first prize of £56,000+ to the winner this extended two miles contest is sure to provide another exciting renewal as a field of 15 runners head to post.
This race has thrown up some big name winners in the past, with recent victors including Elgin, Old Guard, Garde La Victoire, Menorah, Khyber Kim, Sizing Europe and Detroit City since the turn of the millenium.
With the potential for a decent pace in the contest, BENNY’S BRIDGE (13/2, Unibet) could keep up the red-hot form of the Fergal O’Brien yard with success in this competitive handicap, and the Beneficial gelding can post a big effort.
Steadily progressive last term, winning twice which included over this course back in January when beating Flash The Steel, he also won at Market Rasen in March having ran creditably in the Imperial Cup where he finished seventh behind Malaya although he rounded off his season with a slightly disappointing run back at Sandown behind Getaway Trump.
However, there was plenty to like about his impressive reappearance win over course and distance last month where he beat Falcon Sun by eight lengths readily, coming from out of the clouds to take up the running before staying on strongly, and there could be more to come from him despite having been raised 10lbs in the weights as a consequence of that success.
He is 2-2 at this venue, and he could still have scope to improve and defy his new mark if handling the softer ground here, and with his yard and jockey both in top form of late he can go well here for all this will demand a shade more from him taking in stronger company than he’s been used to.
QUOI DE NEUF (9/1, Unibet) won a point-to-point back in April last year prior to joining forces with Evan Williams, and the Anzillero gelding wasted no time in justifying his purchase price when beating Redzor on his reappearance at Aintree on his hurdles debut twelve months ago.
That success was tempered slightly by a fourth-place finish behind Alsa Mix in the Grade Two Winter Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown the following month, perhaps doing too much too soon; but he ran well back from a break when finding only Good Boy Bobby – a chase winner at Wetherby on Saturday – too strong at Ffos Las in April, beaten seven lengths.
Absent again following that run, he shaped well again on his reappearance back at this distance when finding only Speed Company too strong at Chepstow, and he ought to come on for that reappearance where he should prove a lot sharper for this latest outing.
Soft ground is clearly no issue, and he turns out here from just 2lbs higher where he could have significant improvement to come after just a handful of previous runs. This will demand a shade more from him, and he perhaps lacks the experience of a few of these with just four hurdles starts to his name; but he looks on a very workable mark and he can post a big effort.
2019 GREATWOOD HANDICAP HURDLE TIPS – TWO AGAINST THE FIELD