Relkeel Hurdle 2022 Tips: Mcfabulous to retain Grade 2 crown at Cheltenham

Paul Nicholls has trained the winner of the Relkeel Hurdle twice.
Paul Nicholls has trained the winner of the Relkeel Hurdle twice.

Cheltenham will host a quality National Hunt card on New Year's Day, and the feature race is the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle, and our man Steve Chambers previews the race here and picks out his best bet...

Paul Nicholls will be hoping he ventures into the Cheltenham winner's enclosure a lot during 2022, with the countdown to the Cheltenham Festival in March starting to build up momentum, and the Ditcheat handler can visit the number 1 position on Saturday afternoon as MCFABULOUS can bound to glory in the Relkeel Hurdle.

Last year's January 1st meeting was abandoned at Cheltenham, so the Relkeel was switched to Kempton a week later, but that was no trouble for Mcfabulous, who bounded to a two-and-a-quarter length victory over On The Blind Side, and that pair are set to lock horns once again. Excelling over this 2m 4f distance, Mcfabulous may not be one of those that has the speed for the Champion Hurdle or the stamina for the Stayers' Hurdle, but over the intermediate distance of two-and-a-half miles he oozes his class, and he can strike here.

With conditions soft at Kempton last year, Mcfabulous is likely to face similar going in the 2022 renewal, and while he was last seen disappointing in the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle in April, a drop back to Grade 2 company should see him put up his best in a race lacking significant depth.

This will be his seasonal reappearance, so he will come on for the run, but he won first time out when winning the 2020 Persian War Novices' Hurdle at Chepstow, so he runs well fresh and this has all the makings of him emulating Oscar Whisky by winning back-to-back Relkeel renewals.

The biggest danger to Mcfabulous most certainly looks to be the Olly Murphy-trained Brewin'upastorm, who produced a scintillating performance on his first run of the season at Aintree, as he cruised well clear of the classy If The Cap Fits to kick off the campaign on a winning note. But, the piece of form the fans of this nine-year-old will be bigging up is the National Spirit Hurdle form from Fontwell Park last season, as Murphy's raider beat Mcfabulous by five-and-a-half lengths.

Finishing ahead of Mcfabulous in the Aintree Hurdle as well, Brewin'upastorm looks to have the measure of the Nicholls raider, but he's failed to complete on two of his three visits to Cheltenham, and his other saw him finishing fourth in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle back in 2019. So, while that is decent form with the likes of Champ and Galvin featuring in it, it could be that he isn't his best around the undulations of Cheltenham, and with the soft ground set to make this a stiff enough test then he may just struggle to get the better of the smooth travelling Mcfabulous.

One that will relish a return to Cheltenham is the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Guard Your Dreams, who was last seen bounding to International Hurdle glory in December. A winner in a handicap hurdle over 2m 4f at Cheltenham earlier in the season shows that the step up from two miles won't be a problem, and if he can improve from that International run then he has to come into calculations.

Of the others, On The Blind Side has significant form to turn around with Mcfabulous, and he's unlikely to be capable, while Stormy Ireland was well beaten by Champion Hurdle heroine Honeysuckle in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle, and while this is far easier, she will find it tough, despite receiving weight from her male adversaries.

Dans Le Vent completes the line-up for Evan Williams, and the eight-year-old was last seen winning a valuable Haydock prize, but that was over three miles, and the nine-year-old is unlikely to have the pace to deal with his rivals here, in a race that can see Mcfabulous retain his crown.

Relkeel Hurdle
Mcfabulous silk


Stayers' Hurdle Odds
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus

#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Get Up To £100 In Free Bets
#AD New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Money Back As CASH Up To £20 (APP Only)
#AD 18+ Playsafe. New UK users only. The cash refund will equal the amount of your first deposit up to £20. Payment restrictions & T&Cs apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD. New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. 18+
£25 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only |
£10 Welcome Offer
#AD UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we’ll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. T&Cs apply
Latest racing results
1st Blazing Hot
2nd Portelet Bay
3rd Porfin
1st Tell'Em Nowt
2nd Clear Angel
3rd Barrington
2nd Outrun The Storm
3rd Athollblair Boy
4th Sir Benedict
View All Today's Results