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Saturday, December 10, 2005


THE VALUE BETTING COLUMN EVERY SATURDAY




CHELTENHAM, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2005
3:15pm £75,000 totesport Bula Hurdle, Grade Two, 2m 1f



GOING: GOOD TO SOFT

for the best odds go to www.BritOdds.com
BP= the best price at the time of writing


1) -213 Harchibald Noel Meade 6-11-08 Paul Carberry
Last year’s Smurfit Champion Hurdle runner-up, when he was cruising but found little where it mattered, but he can be forgiven his latest outing when he was badly hampered when challenging, bumping the rail when going for a small gap. He has the best form in the race, but everything must fall right for him. BP= 6/4

2) 13-3 Akilak Howard Johnson 4-11-04 Graham Lee
A decent juvenile last year, as he showed when third in the JCB Triumph Hurdle. He is having his first outing since Punchestown in April and is probably best watched. BP= 20/1

3) 21-2 Faasel Nicky Richards 4-11-04v Tony Dobbin
The close runner-up to Penzance in last season’s JCB Triumph Hurdle before recording Grade One success at Aintree. He reversed form with Penzance when just finding Admiral too good in limited handicap at Haydock last time and should strip fitter here, especially with headgear back on. BP= 11/2

4) 11-3 Penzance Alan King 4-11-04 Robert Thornton
He enjoyed a great run last season, with his four wins culminating in the JCB Triumph Hurdle. He was somewhat disappointing on his reappearance at Haydock behind Admiral and Faasel, although the ground may well have been unsuitably soft. BP= 9/1

5) 2-34 Phar Bleu Paul Nicholls 4-11-04t Mick Fitzgerald
A grade One winner at Chepstow last season but was subsequently found to be lacking at the highest level and two defeats in handicap company this season make him fairly easy to discount. BP= 33/1

6) P132 Royal Shakespeare Steve Gollings 6-11-04 Tom Scudamore
A consistent sort this season and he landed a Grade Two at Wincanton last month. But he has always looked to slightly lack something at the very highest level and really needs genuine good ground to be seen at his best. BP= 12/1

7) R-40 Westender Martin Pipe 9-11-04b Timmy Murphy
A grand servant to connections over the years but wins are few and far between these days and he is surely vulnerable to younger types. BP= 25/1

8) 8-2P Intersky Falcon Jonjo O’Neill 8-11-00tb Tony McCoy
Now winless in close on two years and after running well behind Royal Shakespeare at Wincanton, he was a major disappointment at Newcastle a fortnight ago. BP= 8/1

9) F-4F Sporazene Paul Nicholls 6-11-00 Christian Williams
He is making a quick return to action after falling early on in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown last week. He would not be totally out of it if at his best but too many questions to answer. BP= 10/1

SUMMARY
Harchibald offers the best form coming into the race but everything must go right with him and he is a short price. Due to that, it seems prudent to side with one of the younger hopes of which FAASEL has the most going for him.


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