2.40 Cheltenham: Greatwood Hurdle (Grade 3 Handicap), 2m
Despite the big field and natural competitiveness of the Greatwood, two horses stand out for me: Bouvreuil and Totalize. The former one is only a four year old and surely will have a future as a chaser but should profit from another season over timber, now more experienced and stronger, the Nicholls inmate looks an exciting prospect.
He finished an excellent runner-up in the Fred Winter at the Festival last season which is very strong form in its own right. Back from a break the Greatwood was his early season target, so he should be ready to go today on ground which he’s sure to love. Big field, good pace, soft ground – perfect conditions. Of a mark off 139 looks one with plenty of scope.
Totalize is a different sort. He hasn’t been seen over hurdles for quite a while, instead had not a bad season on the flat. However reportedly he has a schooling run over hurdles in the meantime and seemingly looked good. So does his hurdle form in general.
Back in January 2014 he finished a creditable runner-up here at Cheltenham in a Handicap Hurdle behind classy Lac Fontana. If he could run to that sort of level he’d be right in the mix today off only a 3lb higher mark. Given he may well have improved since then as well as that this is only his eight start over timber, he has some scope as well.
Bouvreuil @ 16/1 William Hill – 5pts Win
Totalize @ 11/1 Racebets – 5pts Win