Fred Winter Hurdle Tips: Prairie To Dance To Big Priced Boodles Win

Joseph O'Brien can saddle a shock winner of the Boodles on day one.
Joseph O'Brien can saddle a shock winner of the Boodles on day one.

Hugely competitive on paper, the 2022 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle has been all about one horse as the Willie Mullins-trained Gaelic Warrior in the build up to the four-year-old handicap contest, but our man Steve Chambers is taking on the red-hot jolly with a huge priced alternative...

Gaelic Warrior has been one of the most talked about horses from the Closutton yard of Willie Mullins this year, but it's now time for him to prove he's well handicapped as everyone believes as he goes for glory in the penultimate race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival. A best-priced 5/2 shot, at the time of writing, Gaelic Warrior has been handed a mark of 129 for this contest, and with his French form shaping up very nicely then he could well be chucked in at the ratings. Making his first start for Mullins since being purchased by Rich Ricci following some smart efforts in France, the son of Maxios has seen the form of his last outing boosted significantly in the aftermath, and connections have opted to hold him back for this contest - once he was handed a mark of 129.

It could prove that he is a cut above his rivals, but at 5/2 in such a fiercely contested event with a plethora of potential improvers, it's worth taking him on with a value alternative, and with him being so short then there's value to be had.

Cheltenham Tips

Gordon Elliott has won two of the last four renewals of this contest, and he will unleash a five-pronged attack at the 2022 contest with the likes of The Tide Turns and Ebasari spearheading his challenge for glory. The former (6/1 second fav.) beat Hms Seahorse (14/1) in a maiden hurdle at the start of the season, but has failed to get his head in front since, as he was behind Triumph Hurdle hope Vauban next time around, while he was a well beaten fourth behind Champion Hurdle hope Teahupoo last time out at Gowran Park. This will be easier, but it would be no surprise to see the aforementioned Hms Seahorse turn the form around, as he been hugely progressive for Paul Nolan. Ebasari was last seen being comfortably beaten by Brazil (10/1), who takes his chance in this Tuesday event, and the latter can frank the form and play a notable role here.

Joseph O'Brien trained Band Of Outlaws to victory in this race back in 2019, and he will saddle a fascinating duo in the shape of Champion Green and Prairie Dancer.  An impressive three-and-a-half length winner of a maiden hurdle last time out at Naas, Champion Green is a horse on the upgrade, but he had previously pulled up in a race won by The Tide Turns, so he may not have the class to prevail here, and is best left alone at 12/1.

On the other hand, PRAIRIE DANCER looks a fascinating contender here, and if he can produce his best form then he warrants a major look at at a whopping 33/1. Rated in the 90s on the Flat, Prairie Dancer was last seen finishing second in a Grade 3 juvenile event at Fairyhouse. Priced at 22/1 that day, he showed huge improvement from his previous runs, and with some eye-catching Flat form if he can take to the hustle and bustle of this race then he could outrun his odds. He looks a tricky ride, but O'Brien has opted for the blinkers for this contest and a stiff two miles in this event could play to his strengths, so he's worth taking a chance on with enhanced placed terms with some bookmakers.

Of the others, Saint Segal (16/1) has been in excellent form and won at prohibitive odds at Warwick last time out, and could be one of the leading challengers for the British, while the likes of Doctor Brown Bear and the unbeaten top-weighted Petit Tonnerre, both 16/1 add huge depth to a fascinating renewal.

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Prairie Dancer silk

Prairie Dancer (EW)

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