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4.50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Tuesday 15 March | Age: 4yo+ | Prize: £45,016
The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle is a Grade 3 National Hunt hurdle, open to horses aged four years only and run over a distance of about 2 miles and half a furlong.
I’m going to say that this race is the most confusing and biggest minefield of Cheltenham all week, and we are only on day one. Personally, I don’t think this is a betting race, as it’s far too complex to understand what form is good and weigh it against each other, as well as the French horses who are having their first runs for their new stables.
The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle is the consolation race for the 4yo’s who are simply not good enough to race in the Triumph hurdle later in the week. With that said, a lot of trainers try their hardest to place these horses in race where they won’t win, in order to get a low enough mark to run in this race, to exploit their handicap mark.
On overall form which we can understand (ignoring the French form), THE TIDE TURNS is surely the one to beat. He was an impressive winner on hurdles debut at Punchestown in January and then ran a very nice race to finish 4th in the Grade 1 at Leopardstown, behind the likes of Vauban and Fil Dor, who are leading contenders in the Triumph hurdle. He wasn’t disgraced when finishing 8.25L behind the winner that day, so now he’s in a handicap, he has to be respected.
Gordon Elliot has been sneaky in the past, winning this race with Veneer Of Charm at odds of 33/1 back in 2018. I think EBASARI has taken a similar route as that horse. They both won a maiden race, then ran stinkers in between the Cheltenham race, and on his last race, I think it was fairly evident that Davy Russell wasn’t full trying to win at Naas, in the race which was won by BRAZIL. This is Davy Russel’s only ride on Day 1, which is interesting in itself. I will have a small play on this horse.
There are too many horses in this race to go through the entire card, but I’ve got to mention some of the interesting French recruits who make their debuts for their new yards. GAELIC WARRIOR has strong form from France, competing in races that have been heavily franked, but it’s hard to see how good that is in comparison to the Irish and UK form. Paul Townend has come out and said that this horse is his best chance of a win on Day 1, and the market is strong with this horse, so he could be an absolute rocket. PETIT TONNERRE and MILLDAM are both French recruits who could run nice races if the form translates to something.
It is worth noting that this race has sprung a lot of surprises in the past, with one favourite winning this race in the last 10 years, whilst getting winners at odds of 80/1, 33/1 (3x), 40/1 & 25/1.
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Tips
- Ebasari 12/1 (Each Way, not a strong pick) @ The Pools
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