County Hurdle Tips: Back My Mate on Gold Cup day
Race three on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival is the first of two handicaps on Gold Cup day. The County Hurdle run over two miles is a fiercely competitive handicap which has seen some huge priced winners in the last 10 years. Last year's winner Belfast Banter was sent off a 33/1 chance, whilst we've also seen another 33/1 land in the last decade plus one at 25/1 and two at 20's.
Picking out the winner of the County Hurdle is no mean feat but there are a couple of trends to keep an eye on.
Dan Skelton has trained three of the last six winners of the race, none of which had run in the calendar year and he saddles West Cork (9/1) here, who won the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November. He's attracted the attention of three tipsters including Robin Goodfellow of the Mail and our very own Dan Overall.
With most races at Cheltenham, Willie Mullins has a fine record having saddled eight of the last 12 winners, most recently in 2020 with Saint Roi, the only winning favourite of the race in the last 10 years. Mullins saddles favourite State Farm on Friday, but look out for those further down the betting as three of his wins here have come with horses priced 20/1 or bigger.
Mullins is mob-handed here again in 2022, with favourite State Man, Statuaire, Adamantly Chosen, Dysart Diamond, Farout, Tax For Max and Tempo Chapter Two.
Novice State Man has only run three times in his career and one of those was in France. A faller on debut at Leopardstown on Boxing Day he ran out and impressive 12 length winner to land his maiden last month. Steve Marriott of the Norwich Evening News makes him his nap of the day.
- I Like To Move It
- West Cork
- Top Bandit
Course & Distance Winners
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Second favourite is Colonel Mustard trained by Lorna Fowler. The seven year old has placed in graded novice hurdles this season and might be off a decent mark in his first handicap. The horse has been tipped up by six tipsters including three naps by the likes of Garry Owen of the Daily Record, Templegate of the Sun and Rob Wright of the Times and napped by Rory Delargy of the Irish Field.
Suprise Package is looking to spring another surprise here after absolutely romping away in the Imperial Cup last weekend at Sandown. The Irish raider has gone up 5lbs as a result and best price 12/1 here with Betfair, napped by Lawrence Taylor of Attheraces.
Novices dominate the top of the betting with 14/1 shot Top Bandit coming here off the back of three wins including over course and distance.
Third in the Betfair Hurdle First Street is the entry of Nicky Henderson who looks unexposed.
The most popular horse in terms of tips on Horseracing.net in the County Hurdle is the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained I Like To Move It. Beaten by a short-head in the Betfair Hurdle last month, the five year old has gone up 4lbs but is progressive and could be anything in this company. Tipped up seven times on the site, three of which are naps, the tipsters include the Daily Express, Newsboy for the Mirror and James Stevens of the Racing Post.
Broomfield Burg has been tipped up five times on the site and is an interesting runner at the prices (22/1). Sent off the favourite in the Betfair Hurdle, he finished 7th but a big price here considering what he was that day and connections could be plotting a gamble.
The most napped up horse in the race is MY MATE MOZZIE with four naps including Alex Hammond of Sky Sports and Karl Hedley of the Irish Post. The six year old tailed off last time but has potential off this mark based on his earlier novice form. Trainer Gavin Cromwell is looking to follow up on his win with Flooring Porter in the Stayers' Hurdle on Thursday.
He's our each-way selection for the race at 22/1 with Bet365 who are playing down to seven places.
Good luck if you'e following and please gamble responsibly.