Longshot Ted: Land a few Bob with Mahler

Bob Mahler represents the in-form Warren Greatrex team.
Bob Mahler represents the in-form Warren Greatrex team.

With just two weeks to go until the Cheltenham Festival, Ed Quigley has delved back into the form book to pick out two double figure-priced fancies at the Cheltenham Festival, including in the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle...

The Ballymore betting has had one-dimensional look to it for quite some time, with Envoi Allen (11/8f) conquering all and rightfully lining up as one of the strongest hopes of the week from Ireland. However, something has to finish in the places, and there also the small chance that Envoi Allen could switch to the Supreme if ground conditions end up particularly testing. I think at 20/1 (NRNB) LONGHOUSE POET makes some appeal, as quotes from connections suggest that they aiming towards this contest as opposed to the Albert Bartlett, and they looking for proper soft ground for him, which could easily materialise if the weather stays as it is. He was a bit keen when upped to 2m 6f at Leopardstown last time out and paid the consequences for that in the final few yards. Admittedly, he was beaten around 7 lengths by Envoi Allen at Naas on his penultimate start, but he was untidy at many of his obstacles on ground quicker than ideal, and to his credit stayed on nicely. A strongly run race here on a track with a stiff uphill finish will be perfect for him with plenty of cut, and I can easily see him getting in the mix for connections that won this race last year with City Island. If they do decide to head down the three-mile route, the NRNB insurance is handy to have onside. There are many horses shorter than him in the market that look to have preferred targets elsewhere, and if the rain continues to arrive at Prestbury Park, the chances of him causing an upset only increase and he shouldn't be left out of the equation.

Glenloe was the horse on everybody's lips for the Kim Muir, but with his defection I think Bob Mahler is a fair price at 25/1 to land the contest for trainer Warren Greatrex, who took this race in 2018 with Missed Approach. In-fact, Bob Mahler has had a similar campaign to Missed Approach, and was last seen showing all his battling qualities to land the Edinburgh National - one place better than Missed Approach managed to do in the same race. He looks versatile in regards to underfoot requirements, and has winning form at Cheltenham in his portfolio - in which he flew up the hill last April over a similar trip to this. With a horse with so much proven stamina, I expect him to be ridden fairly prominently and try and get into a good jumping rhythm at the head of affairs. The 5 lb rise to 140 after his most recent victory is fair, and although he has more on his plate from that rating, you couldn't have asked for a better preparation for the eight-year-old - who looks to have sound claims with the yard in much better form than they were at the start of the year.

Advice:

Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, Wednesday 11th March 2020 - Longhouse Poet, 1pt each-way 20/1 (Bet365 NRNB)

Kim Muir Challenge Cup, Thursday 12th March 2020 - Bob Mahler, 1pt win 25/1 (generally)

Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
Longhouse Poet silk

Longhouse Poet (EW)

lost

While Envoi Allen is a worthy favourite, he's a short price, and there's plenty of value to be had in the each-way market. Several behind the favourite have multiple engagements, and although Longhouse Poet also fits into that category, he looks likely to come here. Every drop of rain that falls will be a bonus as far as he's concerned, and in a strongly run race he can't be discounted if conditions become tricky.

Kim Muir Challenge Cup
Bob Mahler silk

Bob Mahler

placed

Represents the same trainer as the 2018 winner Missed Approach, and there's plenty to like about his campaign so far, showing plenty of battling qualities to land the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh last time out. The 5 lb rise he's received for that looks fair, and bearing in mind he's got a course win under his belt already, he could prove hard to pass if given a prominent ride. 

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