CeeBee previews the Greatwood Hurdle and he is advising an each way bet on the solid handicap hurdler Olofi for Tom George.
14.40 Cheltenham - Greatwood Hurdle
The best of the three 4yr olds in last year’s Greatwood finished 11th. In the Elite hurdle last weekend two above average 4yr olds, Zarib and All Yours, who brought Fred Winter and Aintree form with them, were put in their place by ‘old-stagers’ Irving and Melodic Rendezvous. The value lies in ignoring the ‘sexy’ horses. He’s old and grey…..
Olofi won the Greatwood here in 2012 (off 136). He was second the previous year (off 130). Eighth last year (off 135) having missed 18mts off the track wasn’t a terrible effort either. Adjusted for Jamie Bargary’s claim he’s running off 127 this year. That’s certainly a workable mark. He may be 9yrs old but was running very well just last season. Olofi finished 10L behind The New One in the Bula then 5L behind Rock on Ruby at Christmas. After those he was rated 142 before being set impossible tasks in the Cleeve and World Hurdle. The cobwebs were blown off at Wincanton last weekend with a respectable enough effort.
There’s a few in this who could be classed as ‘speedy-types’. If the forecast rain gets into the ground a bit of dogged stamina will be vital. Previous winners Dell Arca, Sizing Europe, Menorah and even Garde La Victoire all have/had winning form over further. If Mick Jazz is free early he won’t get home up the hill on soft ground. Nabucco and Superb Story look like good ground horses on what we’ve seen so far. Of those towards the head of the market, Totalize is a stayer on the flat who has won twice on heavy ground. I’m not sure the early market (Saturday morning) reflects the likely going by race-time Sunday.
Given his ability to run so well at Cheltenham, especially over this trip on soft ground and off such a low mark Olofi has a great each way chance. Ok he’ll probably find one of the unexposed 4 or 5yr olds too good but at 33/1 I’m happy to get involved.
1 point each way Olofi at 33/1 with William Hill, Stan James and Boylesports
Simon Squirrel, Garde la Victoire and Simply Ned are my idea of three other winners at Cheltenham on Sunday. None of them appeal as betting prospects though.
Simon Squirrel faces 4 horses who’ve won within the last month. Two of whom are rated in mid 140s already. For reference; last year’s winner Vyta du Roc and his subsequent conqueror Parlour Games went into the Cheltenham Festival last March rated 147 and 148 respectively.