Harry Means Business In Cleeve Hurdle

Cheltenham stage a bumper nine race card that will tell us plenty about their Festival meeting in March and give us plenty of pointers towards the form and ante post betting lists and while a lot of the favourites are unbackable, one of them is an absolute gift.

Harry To Do What He Does Best
Last year the Cleeve Hurdle was won by Thistlecrack. He was 4/5 favourite, the best horse in his division and he turned up, did his thing and passed the line 12-lengths in front of his nearest rival. Faultless.

This year you can replace Thistlecrack in the above paragraph with Unowhatimeanharry and shortly after 4pm on Saturday it should be a fairly accurate statement.

How this prolific winner, who has clearly forgotten what it is like to get beaten since joining Harry Fry, can be boarding evens for this race is a mystery. Each time he has been asked to step up to a bigger challenge, he has done so with ease and you can take any odds you want about him because there are few other occasions where will you get an easier opportunity to double your money.

Obviously, with horse racing comes risks, and when jumping is involved the risk becomes greater but Unowhatimeanharry is a bigger price to win the Cleeve Hurdle than Thistlecrack is to win the Cotswold Chase and while there is no doubting that Thistlecrack is the best horse in that race too, his tendency to be over brave at some fences makes him one to watch at that price rather than lump on.

Double Ivan And Harry
Naas stages a decent card and the Limestone Lad Hurdle looks a tasty little contest. Ivan Grozny and Sutton Place are both on four timers but Ivan Grozny has won all of his last three since we have last saw Sutton Place, who is just short of a year off the track now so he can be expected to improve from the outing.

Supasundae is the biggest danger here with Danny Mullins picking up the plum spare ride for Jessica Harrington in Robbie Power’s absence. He was very good at Punchestown on New Years Eve but drops back half a mile in trip for this and that would be a slight concern, even around a testing track like Naas.

Ivan Grozny holds a Champion Hurdle entry and may just be below that class but this looks like good placing by Willie Mullins to continue his winning sequence

…and a double with Unowhatimeanharry might well make it a good Saturday afternoon.

Vegas To Naas
Also at Naas, Lagostovegas is given the nod to continue Sean Flanagan’s good time of things in the saddle. Harry Kelly’s course and distance winner may not have reached the heights once expected of her as she was placed in a number of decent maidens as a juvenile but there’s a chance that the handicapper hasn’t treated her too badly with a mark of 120. At around 4/1 she may well be able to make her mark again at the Kildare track and pick up some compensation for missing the valuable €100,000 handicap hurdle at Leopardstown last weekend due to transport difficulty.

Recommended Bets:
Unowhatimeanharry (Evens) – 4.00 Cheltenham
Ivan Grozny (8/13) – 1.30 Naas
Lagostovegas (7/2) – 3.10 Naas

*Prices correct at time of publication.