County H'cap Hurdle Tips - 2:10pm Cheltenham

2019 County Handicap Hurdle Preview

The County Hurdle days back to 1920 and is the one of the most competitive handicaps of the week. These horses are just below top class so it’s no surprises to see that both Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls have each won it four times previously.

Dan Skelton took the honours last season when 20/1 shot Mohaayed came home in front, that was his second victory in three years having won it with Superb Story in 2016.

Mohaayed is going for the race again and last year’s winning jockey Bridget Andrews will once again be in the saddle.

It will be a difficult task for the 7yo as he will be carrying a stone more in weight but you can’t be surprised that connections fancied another shot at it.

His best run this season was when winning at Ascot in December and that was possibly a personal best effort. Just behind him that day was Lisp trained by Alan King.

He made a mistake at the last which cost him any chance but would fancy turning the tables here. Lisp has since ran poorly so has a bit to prove now.

Skelton also has the 8yo Ch’tibello in the race, he was 8th in the Champion Hurdle last season and was just found out in the very top races. His handicap mark has slipped and now looks worth a second look in a big handicap like this.

Paul Nicholls has done well in the handicaps at Cheltenham and he has Capitaine in the line up. He won at Taunton last month to book his ticket here but has gone up 6lbs in the process.

Nicky Henderson has a few two mile hurdlers that wouldn’t look out of place in this line up and the one I like is We Have A Dream. He was thought good enough to be considered for the Champion Hurdle at one point this year but in the end his form has not been up to scratch at the very top level.

Last season he had to miss the Festival through injury but made amends by winning at Aintree. Last time out he got back to winning ways at Kelso in a weak race but at least he comes here with his confidence restored.

The consistent handicapper Sternrubin could go well despite finishing only 10th last year. He has won twice this season and last time out was a good second to Capitaine at Taunton.

That was his first run for 9 weeks so maybe just needed it and he rarely runs a bad race, he looks very solid to me.

The Phillip Hobbs yard also have Crooks Peak and he will be ridden by Richard Johnson. The 6yo has improved no end lately and comes here after landing his hat-trick at Newbury a couple of weeks ago. He's a horse at the top of his game and deserves his chance here.

Willie Mullins has won this race four times since 2010 so anything he saddles needs a check. Whiskey Sour looks to be his main hope and will be ridden by Ruby Walsh. The 6yo was last seen out on the flat at Naas in November. His last run over hurdles was a respectable 7th in the Galway Hurdle behind Sharjah so that form looks pretty solid.

Mr Adjudicator is another Mullins runner, he was second to Farclas in the Triumph Hurdle last season and he then went on to fill the same behind Saldier at Punchestown.

His only run this season was when second to Espoir D’Allen at Naas in November and has been kept fresh for this assignment. 

Trainer Gordon Elliott has a very poor record in the County Hurdle and would really like to put that straight sooner rather than later. His best chnace looks to be with Eclair De Beaufeu who gets in here on a mark of 136. The 5yo won at Limerick and Fairyhouse before a respectable 4th at Leopardstown in a handicap behind Off You Go. He's up 6lbs but looks to be going in the right direction.

Punters Lounge Tip: Sternrubin EW 25/1 at Bet365 - Click Here To Bet

County H'cap Hurdle Trends
County H'cap Hurdle Previous Winners
2019Ch'tibello811-05Harry SkeltonDan Skelton12/1
2018Mohaayed610-11Bridget Andrews Dan Skelton33/1 
2017Arctic Fire711-12Paul TownendWillie Mullins20/1
2016Superb Story510-12Harry SkeltonDan Skelton8/1
2015Wicklow Brave611-04Paul TownendWillie Mullins25/1
2014Lac Fontana510-11Daryl JacobPaul Nicholls11/1
2013Ted Veale610-06Bryan CooperTony Martin10/1
2012Alderwood811-01Tony McCoyThomas Mullins20/1
2011Final Approach510-12Ruby WalshWillie Mullins10/1
2010Thousand Stars610-05Katie WalshWillie Mullins20/1
2009American Trilogy511-00Ruby WalshPaul Nicholls20/1
2008Silver Jaro510-13Noel FehilyTom Hogan50/1

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