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Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Tips - 4:15pm Cheltenham

The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle was formerly known as the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle and as the name suggests is for 4 year olds only which usually attract those that are not quite good enough to contest the Triumph Hurdle. Due to the advent of the new Mares Chase the race has a new spot in the running order of the Festival on day one having moved from the Thursday. Ex French horses do particularly well here with 9 of the last 16 winners beginning their careers in France whilst two trainers who do have a very good record are Paul Nicholls and Gordon Elliott who have both won this contest three times each. There’s a real mixed bag of SP’s over the years with three 33/1, two 25/1 and a 40/1 winner in the last 10 years although the last two years have seen two well backed winners at 7/2 and 15/2. Expect a maximum field of 22 to go to post.

Triumph Hurdle hopes Zanahiyr and Quilixios head the weights but it seems that both are more likely to start in that event for their new handlers following their move from Gordon Elliot’s stable, especially as they have been given such big weights. If that pair don’t run then we can expect the weights to rise by at least 8lb.

Teahupoo is unbeaten in all three starts though he could end up with top weight here and has alternative engagements.

Gary Moore’s Nassalam is useful and probably bumped into one at Haydock last time in Paul Nicholl’s Monmiral who misses the Festival.

Willie Mullins is likely to saddle Saint Sam who is ex French (see above) and has bumped into Triumph Hurdle hopefuls Zanahiyr and Quilixios in his three hurdle starts in Ireland. He has to be on the shortlist.

Paul Nicholls does well in this race and trains Houx Gris, yet another French import, who has only had the one start for the Ditcheat trainer when third in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow in January. 20 lengths behind Nassalam that day he re-opposes on 13lb better terms. He’s been well supported in the ante-post market and has the added bonus of winning form on both good and heavy ground.

Joseph O’Brien won this two years ago with the well backed Band Of Outlaws and his representatives this time around are Scholatic (number 34 and may not make the cut), **Druid’s Affair and Busselton. The latter has been placed behind the two Triumph Hurdle hopes Zanahiyr and Quilixios and his form ties in with Saint Sam. Druid’s Affair won going away at Naas last time and is another with claims.

Dan Skelton has left in Cabot Cliffs who has impressed with victories at Warwick in February. He visually looked good last time and any Skelton runner in a handicap should never be dismissed lightly.

Nick Williams trained the 2017 winner with Flying Tiger and his yard, now under the guidance of his wife Jane, saddles Balko Saint who’s 3rd here back in November has worked out particularly well as he was sandwiched that day between Adagio and Cabot Cliffs (both winners since). He picks up a 5lb penalty for winning at Wincanton in early March where he beat a smart one in Robins Dream, pulling well clear of the remainder. He was however unruly beforehand and actually flipped over on the way out onto the course. He appears to have plenty of ability and can run well with the fact that they’ll be no crowds there a possible bonus as he may have some temperament about him.

Another Irish contender is Denis Gerard Hogan’s Zoffanien already a winner of a handicap at Naas in late February. His mark of 129 doesn’t looks too bad comparing that to his easy win in Ireland off of 119.

Also over from the Emerald Isle is Dermot Weld’s Coltor, neck winner of a Naas maiden hurdle with Zoffanien back in third beaten 1/2 length. He’s at the right end of the handicap and his handler is a genius so shouldn’t be over looked.

A typically wide open renewal with a chance taken on Coltor who's at the right end of the handicap, is lightly raced and trained by the master that is Dermot Weld.

Punters Lounge Tip: Coltor @ 20/1 EW 1/4 1234 at bet365 - Click Here To Bet
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