2.10 County Handicap Hurdle

Friday 13 March  |  Age: 5yo+  |  Prize: £100,000

The County Handicap Hurdle was first run in 1920 and was traditionally the meeting’s curtain-closer. It is still run on the fourth and final day, but following a reshuffle of the schedule in 2009, it has been moved from being the last race, to being the second.

CARNAGE is almost guaranteed in the County Hurdle as 20-odd keen beans all jostle for position.

You need a horse who can get a good position, go a frantic gallop and then find a bit more at the end as they come up the hill. It’s usually a brilliant race.

My pick for the race is MOHAAYED who won it in 2018 and has clearly been campaigned for this all season. His handicap mark looks brilliant now and although he is shortening in the market I am very keen on him.

I had my eye on one or two others but they are now non-runners so it’s Mohaayed all the way for me.

There is some 10-1 about but I’m taking 9-1 and 6 places each way with Betway, 888 Sport and Betfred.

Recommended bet

JP McManus has enjoyed a sensational week and in the County Hurdle his CIEL DE NEIGE (2.10) hasn’t been over-burdened by a 4lb rise for running second in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.

He finished an excellent third in last year’s Boodles Handicap Hurdle won by Band of Outlaws and has been well found in the betting market.

His trainer Willie Mullins saddles another McManus hopeful in easy Tramore winner Saint Roi, the mount of Barry Geraghty, while Aramon moves into handicap company under Paul Townend on the back of a respectable fifth to Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

JP’s quintet is completed by Buildmeupbuttercup and Tiger Tap Tap.

Joseph O’Brien’s Embittered was an eye-catcher in a handicap hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival, running sixth to the Charles Byrnes-trained Thosedaysaregone.

He was a decent enough bumper horse last season and has slipped under the radar for Gigginstown.

Dan Skelton has won three of the last four renewals of the County Hurdle and Mohaayed, first in 2018 and seventh last year behind stablemate Ch’itbello, has dropped to an attractive mark.

Recommended bet

  • Ciel De Niege 8-1 e/w (Bet365)

Yet another very competitive handicap hurdle race, which is always a great spectacle.

From a betting view, this is very hard to try and find the best handicapped horse in the race, with there being 26 runners. The one I'm siding with is EMBITTERED, trained by Joseph O'Brien.

I'm hoping the weather forecast is accurate and the rain stays away from the course, as I think a sounder surface will pay dividends for Embittered.

His bumper form on good to soft ground is impeccable, he finished 3 lengths behind Envoi Allen, who we all know is a superstar, and then he finished 4th behind Colreevy & Abacadabras in a Grade 1 bumper.

His hurdle form is decent, especially his latest run where he finished 6th in a big field handicap at Leopardstown, which will set him up perfectly for this.

There are many horses in with a good chance, so I advise to have a deep look for yourself, but if you're following me then Embittered is the one.

Recommended bet

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Distance: 2m 179y
Type: Hurdle
Class: 1
Track: Turf
No
Silks
Runner
Jockey/Trainer
18
Saint Roi
3-51
J:
T: W P Mullins
ADD TO SLIP
11/2

2
Aramon
262-645
J:
T: W P Mullins
ADD TO SLIP
8/1

14
Ciel De Neige
4/53-422
J:
T: W P Mullins
ADD TO SLIP
8/1

7
Mohaayed
79-5099
J:Bridget Andrews
T: D Skelton
ADD TO SLIP
11/1

11
Adjali
12374-6
J:D A Jacob
T: N J Henderson
ADD TO SLIP
12/1

15
Thatsy
1-22149
J:
T: G Elliott
ADD TO SLIP
12/1

5
Stolen Silver
2-U1218
J:Sam Twiston-Davies
T: N A Twiston-Davies
ADD TO SLIP
14/1

10
Buildmeupbuttercup
500-P25
J:
T: W P Mullins
ADD TO SLIP
14/1

21
Rathhill
2/14-0
J:
T: N J Henderson
ADD TO SLIP
18/1

25
Sir Valentine
F1234
J:
T: N A Twiston-Davies
ADD TO SLIP
20/1

4
Christopher Wood
13-0491
J:H Cobden
T: P F Nicholls
ADD TO SLIP
25/1

3
Embittered
3-41536
J:J J Slevin
T: J P O'Brien
ADD TO SLIP
25/1

1
Eldorado Allen
23/1U-23
J:R M Power
T: C L Tizzard
ADD TO SLIP
25/1

16
Oakley
11-3327
J:R Johnson
T: P J Hobbs
ADD TO SLIP
25/1

22
You Raised Me Up
1-42253
J:L P Dempsey
T: M Brassil
ADD TO SLIP
25/1

9
Moon Over Germany
1-41328
J:Rachael Blackmore
T: H De Bromhead
ADD TO SLIP
28/1

12
Zanza
1-P16F6
J:Sean Houlihan
T: P J Hobbs
ADD TO SLIP
40/1

24
Tiger Voice
06-2130
J:
T: H De Bromhead
ADD TO SLIP
40/1

6
Scaramanga
212-817
J:Bryan Carver
T: P F Nicholls
ADD TO SLIP
50/1

26
Lethal Steps
321728
J:
T: G Elliott
ADD TO SLIP
50/1

28
Garo De Juilley
2P4447
J:Reserve 2
T: Mrs S Leech
ADD TO SLIP
NR

27
Bullionaire
12/P312
J:Reserve 1
T: H Fry
ADD TO SLIP
NR

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