Cheltenham Festival: Paul Townend only has one handicap ride and it’s 13/2 on Day 4

Willie Mullins and his stable jockey Paul Townend have been utterly dominant in the first two days of the Cheltenham Festival. Mullins gained his 100th Cheltenham Festival winner on the second day and he won’t be stopping there. Paul Townend only has one ride in handicaps across the entire four days and the horse in question goes in Friday’s County Hurdle. Check out our free tips page for a tip in every race across the Festival.

2.10 Cheltenham

Absurde (13/2, bet365) is a pretty useful horse to have over both codes. The six-year-old earned his connections £300,000 by winning the Ebor at York in August and is very lightly raced over hurdles. He’s had just four starts over timber thus far and got off the mark at the first time of asking.

That victory came in a Killarney novice hurdle back in May over 2m4f, although it’s worth noting that the form doesn’t amount to much. A British handicap mark of 138 certainly doesn’t look ridiculous and the fact that Townend is on board perhaps indicates that connections are content with that rating.

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It was a career best effort in this sphere when fourth behind Ballyburn at Leopardstown last time out. The first and second have both won this week and the third is favourite for this race. Winning the County Hurdle is a difficult task for such a lightly raced hurdler but he has experience in big field handicaps on the Flat which should help.

The best is almost certainly yet to come from him and Willie Mullins has won four of the last 10 renewals of this race. You wouldn’t want to rule out another Mullins winner and he’s one to keep an eye on.

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