Can Beer Goggles cause Cleeve Hurdle shock?
It would be fitting if BEER GOGGLES were to win the Cleeve Hurdle this week after the shock death of Richard Woollacott.
He comes here in fine form after springing a shock by winning the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in December. On that day he saw off much heralded rivals in Unowhatimeanharry, Thistlecrack, COLIN’S SISTER and WHOLESTONE.
This time Wholestone and Beer Goggles meet on level weights.
Whether Wholestone can turn round the 13.5l is another question. Colin’s Sister runs off the same weight and will have to find 9l although Beer Goggles had gone up 6lb since that race.
I think that he will not be given such a soft lead this time now that others know he has the class and form in the book to win a race of this stature.
Currently trading around 13/2 he is certainly worth looking at for an EW shout at the very least.
Cleeve Hurdle Contenders?
Vying for favouritism in the Cleeve Hurdle is likely to be the Colin Tizzard trained FINIANS OSCAR.
He started this season chasing. He won his first 2 attempts over fences although neither were particularly impressive. His last 2 races at Sandown and Ascot have seen him beaten on both occasion albeit by a Short Head at the latter.
He now reverts back to hurdling. At his peak he was rated at 150 over hurdles and only suffered the 1 defeat over the smaller obstacles. Should he revert back to that type of form that would put him right in the mix with Beer Goggles being rated at 152 after winning the Long Distance Hurdle.
Nicky Henderson is sending over THOMAS CAMPBELL to try and claim his first Cleeve Hurdle. The horse has good form at Cheltenham and has won 3 of his 4 appearance at the course with distances varying from 2m to 3m 1f.
With the ground likely to come up soft this should also work in his favour.
WHOLESTONE is another with impressive course form. He has run here 6 times and has returned the winner on an impressive 4 occasions. On the other 2 occasions he was 2nd and 3rd! This certainly puts him in the frame for this race and again the softer the going the better for this horse.
His last run here on New Years Day saw him return the winner here in the Relkeel Hurdle and also saw him rated at 155.
Nigel Twiston Davies will be looking to add to his 1998 success with Mistinguett and I think he has a great chance here.
Cleeve Hurdle Tip of The Day
My Cleeve Hurdle tip of the day is WHOLESTONE.
I think with the course and distance form in the bank this horse will take all the beating.
He is generally available at 10/3 with most bookmakers - good luck!!