Cheltenham preview (14.40): Jazz takes the Mick in Greatwood Hurdle
David Metcalf | November 14, 2015
Mick Jazz can take advantage of what looks an lenient opening mark to land the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham (14.40).
The ex-French trained gelding had just two starts last season after joining Dan Skelton with a tall reputation and shaped with bags of promise on both occasions.
In the first of those at Newbury, the four-year-old led travelling well approaching three out until weakening after the last to finish a 4 3/4 length third to Old Guard. He now meets the winner on 15lb better terms, and that should be more than enough turn turn the tables.
Mick Jazz backed that up with a 4 1/2 length second to Top Notch at Ascot when sent off at odds-on.
After being held-up racing keenly in the earlier stages, Mick Jazz made smooth headway on the bridle two from home before being produced to lead at the last.
Mick Jazz a smooth hurdler
The son of Blue Bresil was the unable to match the winners’ turn of foot on the run-in, and probaly paid the price for his early exertions when failing to settle.
However, it was a cracking effort in hindsight as Top Notch went on to win his next two starts before finishing a fine second in the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle.
Given that Top Notch is now rated 144, it makes Mick Jazz look thrown-in at the weights in this off an opening mark of just 130.
Mick Jazz also remains unexposed and opens to stacks more improvement, and clearly has a big engine.
With the stable in good form, and a hood fitted for the first time, he has the potential to make a total mockery of his mark.
Days of Heaven leads threats
There are plenty of dangers in an ultra-competitive renewal, and Days Of Heaven may well prove the biggest.
The Nicky Henderson trained five-year-old has always been held in high regard, but is a nervous sort who took time to last season.
After opening his account in good style at Ludlow, Days Of Heaven followed up in facile fashion at Doncaster before taking a step up in class in his stride to land the Grade 2 Dovecote Hurdle at Kempton in impressive fashion.
After being waited with by jockey Barry Geraghty, Days Of Heaven challenged on the bridle when bludering two from home and quickly recovered to forge 2 3/4 lengths clear of Viva Collonges on the run-in.
It was a most taking performance, and although Days Of Heaven failed to shine when last seen in action at Aintree he looks the type who may well have more to offer this season and an opening makr of 145 looks workable.
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Coral’s top tip: Mick Jazz looks potentially way ahead of his opening handicap mark, so rates a solid bet to take advantage and open his account. Days Of Heaven looks decent each-way value