Our first Live Race from Cheltenham Race Course Friday afternoon is the CF Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Handicap Hurdle run over 2 miles, 1 furlong.
The race is a class 3 event which will see 17 runners and riders head to post all hoping to be involved in picking up some of the £12,000.00 in prize money available for the first six horses home.
The whole race can be seen Live on Channel 4 High Definition, with a scheduled start time of 13:20pm (GMT).
CF Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Handicap Hurdle
The Paul Nicholls trained Dark Lover currently heads the betting market and is the clear 13/2 favourite with Stan James to land the spoils under the guidance of Ruby Walsh.
Dark Lover is the only course and distance winner in the field and was beaten just under 7 lengths last time out in the Class 1, Grade 3 Racing Post Handicap Hurdle last month at Cheltenham behind race winner Olofi.
Dark Lover will obviously find this race a little easier with it being a Class 3 affair and with the ground a little better this time around and on the same mark as his last run this seven year old bay gelding out of Dark Lady will obviously be involved in the finish one would imagine with the competent Ruby Walsh in the pilots seat.
Another one with a real chance is the Jonjo O’Neill trained Open Day who is ridden by the highly rated youngster Maurice Linehan who claims a valuable 7lb which could be decisive up the grueling cheltenham hill and is currently a best priced 8/1 also with Stan James to make it back to back victories.
Open Day had no problems with the testing conditions at Leicester last month when coming home in front to win the Weatherbys Foreign Exchange Handicap Hurdle by 1 and a 1/2 lengths from Grafite, and although the handicapper has put him up another 7lbs for this race, this 6 year old bay gelding out of Shaping could have the necessary improvement required here.
Our final one to make the short list is Tim Vaughan’s Falcarragh who is ridden by Dougie Costello and was an eye catching 3rd place last time out in the Centaur Novices Handicap Hurdle last month at cheltenham when staying on really well up the cheltenham hill.
Another performance like that would obviously put Tim Vaughn’s entry right in the mix for this one and although up 3lb from the handicapper still looks like one that will be staying on towards the end when others have had enough and at a current best price of 11/1 with Bet365, looks value for an each way place.
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