Last season we saw the Irish raider – The Shunter – winning this Saturday’s (3:15) bet365 Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso racecourse, before following up at the Cheltenham Festival to land the Paddy Power Plate Handicap. In the process he picked up the £100k bonus should any horse win the Kelso race and then follow-up in any Cheltenham Festival event that season.
Sponsors – bet365 – are once again dangling the £100k bonus carrot, which means a decent field should be heading north of the border to Kelso racecourse this Saturday (5th March 22).
Harry Fry’s Metier Holds Cheltenham Festival Entries
He heads to Kelso in tip-top form too after a nice win at Lingfield in January and will love the soft ground – in fact, the more rain the better for this improving hurdler. He’s won four of his seven starts over hurdles and despite being raised 7lbs for that last victory is sure to be popular here @5/1 with bet365 if making the final line-up for Saturday Morebattle Hurdle.
Former Champion Hurdler Buveur D’Air Could Also Head To Kelso
Trainer Nicky Henderson has been a good supporter of the Morebattle Hurdle in recent years – he won the pot in 2012 with Simonsig, in 2016 with Top Notch and again in 2019 with We Have A Dream.
Balco Coastal was last seen running a solid second at Cheltenham at their January meeting and with that only his third run over hurdles (2 wins) should have a lot more to come. If taking up this engagement, then connections will surely be tempted to head to Cheltenham where he’s entered in both the County Hurdle (@16/1 with bet365) and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle (@16/1 with bet365).
The 11 year-old – Buveur D’Air – is also entered for Henderson at this early stage and even though he’s not getting any younger he’d still be the clear top-rated in this race (if running) with a mark of 153.
He’s clearly not the horse he was a few seasons ago and has had some issues. We last saw him running a fair fourth in the Aintree Hurdle back in April 21, but the fact connections are still racing him suggests he’s still showing a love for the game at home.
However, Buveur D’Air doesn’t hold any entries for Cheltenham so should he head to Kelso and win this race the bonus will be off the table.
Other Morebattle Hurdle Runners That Hold Cheltenham Festival Entries
Cormier – Coral Cup (@40/1 with bet365) & County Hurdle (@20/1 with bet365)
Faivoir – County Hurdle (@33/1 with bet365)
Saint D’Oroux – Coral Cup (@33/1 with bet365)
Hacker Des Places – County Hurdle (@50/1 with bet365)
Severance – County Hurdle (@25/1 with bet365)
Alqamar – Martin Pipe Hurdle (@50/1 with bet365)
Elvis Mail – Coral Cup (@33/1 with bet365) & County Hurdle (@33/1 with bet365)
Balko Saint – County Hurdle (@25/1 with bet365) & Martin Pipe Hurdle (@25/1 with bet365)
Lebowski – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (@250/1 with bet365) & County Hurdle (@25/1 with bet365)
Thereisnodoubt – Coral Cup (@66/1 with bet365), County Hurdle (@33/1 with bet365) & Martin Pipe Hurdle (@40/1 with bet365)
Morebattle Hurdle Trends
10/10 – Returned 9/2 or shorter in the betting
10/10 – Had run in the last 3 months
9/10 – Carried 11-2 or more in weight
8/10 – Won at least twice over hurdles before
6/10 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
6/10 – Rated between 138-146
5/10 – Winning favourites
5/10 – Irish bred
3/10 – Won last time out
3/10 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/10 – Ridden by Brian Hughes
2/10 – Had won at the track before
2/10 – Ridden by Daryl Jacob
2/10 – Trained by Nicky Richards
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 7/4
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