Seven runners have been declared for the Listed juvenile hurdle on Friday’s Wetherby card. Read our full race preview for our experts’ betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Alan King reportedly holds useful Flat-racer Master Blueyes in high regard and it looks interesting that he’s pitched him straight into Listed company for today’s hurdle debut. There’s every chance he’ll do well at this game but the bookmakers aren’t taking too many chances with opening quotes at around 2/1, particularly as he meets a very tough rival in CLIFFS OF DOVER here. The Paul Nicholls-trained gelding has taken very well to hurdling in recent months and, after he readily quickened clear to beat older horses in a good-quality Cheltenham handicap a week ago, he should be backed at any odds-against. Nietzsche has been in excellent form on the Flat and is also a key player now switched to hurdles.
1 Cliffs Of Dover – Nothing special on the Flat but has done well since switched to hurdles, winning four of his five starts; readily quickened clear to defeat older horses in a Cheltenham handicap (2m, good) a week ago and, although he shoulders an 8lb penalty here, he’ll ought to be very difficult to beat.
2 Canford Thompson – 0-7 on the Flat and made inauspicious start to his hurdling career, but blasted off in front and made all to cause a 20-1 surprise in a C&D maiden a couple of weeks ago; however, his rivals probably gave him too much rope on that occasion and the form is nothing out of the ordinary.
3 Master Blueyes – Useful Flat-racer who won twice over about 1m4f in May and climbed to a BHA mark of 88 after going very close in a valuable 1m6f York handicap this month; trainer is a dab hand with juvenile hurdlers and is reportedly very excited about this gelding’s prospects over timber.
4 My Valentino – Unplaced all eight Flat starts, the latest when sixth of eight off a mark of 60 in a 1m3f Class 5 handicap in June; surprising if he manages to get competitive at this level on hurdle debut.
5 Nietzsche – Four wins on the Flat this year, the latest off a BHA mark of 81 over 1m5f at Ayr last month; evidently in very good nick, will be fine stamina-wise today and is a half-brother to three hurdle winners; likely contender on debut in this sphere for in-form stable.
6 Rainbow Dreamer – Yet to add to his 2yo maiden success but has run to a useful level on several occasions on the Flat this year and, despite lacking fluency, made a fairly encouraging hurdle debut when second of four at Chepstow (2m, good) this month; can benefit from that outing but Wayne Hutchinson prefer’s Alan King’s other runner.
7 Tam O’Shanter – Cost 210,000gns as a yearling but finished down the field in a 1m2f Windsor maiden on debut for Godolphin in June and was offloaded for £5,000 in August; stable won this race with a 200/1 outsider in 2010 but this gelding is probably best watched on first start over hurdles.
myracing Forecast Prices: 5/4 Cliffs Of Dover, 9/4 Master Blueyes, 9/2 Nietzsche, 7/1 Rainbow Dancer, 20/1 Canford Thompson, 33/1 Tam O’Shanter, 66/1 My Valentino