It's World Hurdle day at Cheltenham and the Follow The Money team have three selections for you to consider, two to back and one to oppose on a quality-looking card...
We kick things off with the 13:30 JLT Novice Chase where Black Hercules has caught the eye in the market this morning. He has been backed from 8.43 in to 6.05/1 to claim this extremely open looking race.
He was well beaten in last year's Albert Bartlett but came back and ran well on his three chase starts. He looked in total command before falling at the last at Navan in a Grade 2 over three miles on heavy ground. The drop back in trip today should suit him and his strong travelling style will prosper at Cheltenham to give him a great chance of providing Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh with yet another Festival winner.
Our lay of the day comes in the 14:50 Ryanair Chase over 2m5f where the heavy market favourite Vautour has been negative in the betting this morning, drifting from 1.705/7 out to 2.111/10.
A dramatic late switch from Mullins and Rich Ricci to enter the highly regarded gelding and leading Gold Cup contender to the Ryanair Chase sprung somewhat of a surprise on punters and raised a few eyebrows in the process. Many believe there could be question marks as to whether he is 100% fit and would struggle to complete the Gold Cup distance. However this is just a theory and the facts are that he is a top class horse who is proven around Cheltenham and has landed two Festival crowns in the last two years when winning the Supreme in 2014 and the JLT in 2015. If he can replicate that sort of form he should have enough to make it three titles in three years but the market seems unsure and he looks worth taking on in this one.
Concluding thins today is our each-way selection. It comes in the 15:30 World Hurdle where Whisper has seem some solid market support and is currently available at 12.5 from an earlier 16.5.
He has been out of sorts this season but has shown he can bounce back before and he has proven class having won the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle the past two years. If he can show that sort of performance today then he should have very good prospects of doing better than he did in this race last year when he was a solid fifth.
Back Black Hercules @ 6.05/1 in the 13:30 at Cheltenham
Lay Vautour @ 2.111/10 in the 14:50 at Cheltenham
Back Whisper each-way @ 12.5 in the 15:30 at Cheltenham
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Follow The Money February P/L
Staked: 87 pts
Returned: 91.7 pts
P/L: + 4.7 pts
For February, calculated before commission, based on prices at time of publication