Greatwood Handicap Hurdle tips: Nicholls and Cobden a winning combo with Modus
Frank Monkhouse | 13 November 2016
Greatwood Handicap Hurdle tips: Modus odds say he’ll shine
Sunday brings The Open meeting at Cheltenham to a close and Modus odds look likely to send backers out on a high in the feature, the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (14:30).
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls made the right move when pairing jockey Harry Cobden with his hope Old Guard in this race 12 months ago, and he looks to repeat the feat when giving him the ride of Modus here.
The six-year-old gelding already boasts wins over both track and trip, claiming the verdict at Prestbury Park over 1m 6f on New Year’s Day 2014, beating nearest finisher Adeupas D’ycy by 13 lengths.
It was plain to see from that effort Modus would handle a step up in trip without fuss and did just that when scoring over 2m in a novices hurdle at Newbury 12 months ago.
Festival forms stands out
Modus also boasts Cheltenham Festival pedigree, the peak of his form, when finishing runner-up behind Moon Racer in the Grade 1 Champion Bumper in 2015, then running for Robert Stephens.
It’s fair to say that the selection hasn’t quite lived up to the early hype that was created around him, but he’s mixed it in stylish company and gets weight from rivals Winter Escape and the re-opposing Sternrubin.
With Cobden back in the saddle, that rates as another positive for punters and Modus is sure to be popular in the betting ring at a punter-friendly price.
Rain to dampen Winter Escape’s challenge
The main danger to our selection among Greatwood Handicap Hurdle tips, looks to be fellow JP McManus owned horse Winter Escape, judging by the market.
Alan King’s representative puts his 100 per cent win record at risk when making a step up in class to feature.
The progressive five-year-old bagged a double at Doncaster and followed that up with a win in the Grade 2 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton on his last appearance in February.
Winter Escape makes his seasonal reappearance here with Barry Geraghty in the saddle and he’s been on board for two of the horse’s three wins.
Handler King believes this race will represent a big test for his sole runner in the field and was hoping that conditions would remain dry in the run-up.
Unfortunately for Winter Escape, that has not been the case, with rain falling on Friday and Saturday, so punters may consider that too much of a negative to back the shortest price.
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