Cheltenham preview: Citipost Handicap Hurdle (14.55)
David Metcalf | December 10, 2015
The Eaglehaslanded shaped really well when runner-up last time out and can go one better to land the 2m 7f Citipost Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham (14.55).
Trained by Paul Nicholls, the gelding won his sole start in a bumper and has gone on to land two of his four completed starts over hurdles.
In the last of those, the five-year-old overcame a seven month absence to beat For ‘n’ Against at Exeter on his seasonal reappearance back in October.
The Eaglehaslanded idled when taking up the running three from home, and after a mistake two out rallied gamely to get up and score by a neck.
Put your nest egg on The Eaglehaslanded
To me he was value for more than the winning margin, and the front two pulled 25 lengths clear of the third home to give the form a solid look.
The Eaglehaslanded was allotted an opening mark of 121 on the back of that victory and shaped really well off it when runner-up to Sykes at Chepstow.
After tracking the leader, the son of Milan was produced to hold very chances at the last before going down fighting by just 3/4 of a length.
Although now 4lb higher in the weights, the runner-up has come out and run well since to be placed in a competitive contest at Newbury and The Eagleshaslanded has a progressive profile, so looks the type who should have plenty more to offer.
With the stable in good form, and Sam Twiston-Davies in the saddle, he looks the one to beat.
Punters may have a One Track Mind
There are plenty of dangers in a wide-open contest, and One Track Mind may well prove the biggest.
The Warren Greatrex trained five-year-old is an unexposed sort who won two of his four starts over hurdles last season.
In the last of those successes, One Track Mind made all and stayed on strongly to win easing down by six lengths at Wetherby in the style of a horse to keep onside.
Prior to that the gelding had run a blinder to finish fourth to the 147-rated Parlour Games in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle, and on that performance an opening handicap mark of 139 may well underestimate One Track Mind’s ability.
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Coral’s top tip: The Eaglehaslanded has a progressive profile and looks decent value to land the spoils. One Track Mind rates a big danger.