Greatwood Handicap Hurdle runner-by-runner guide to Sunday’s 2.55 at Cheltenham

A bumper 20-runner field goes to post on Sunday.


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Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: Tom Scudamore Age: 4 Weight: 11st 12lbs

One of best juvenile hurdlers last season, winning Grade 1 Finale at Chepstow. Fine second in Triumph here and Anniversary at Aintree in the spring. Has had wind surgery. Respected despite top weight.



Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Age: 10 Weight: 11st 11lbs

Runner-up in this off 8lb higher last year. Below par since his third in International here in December but he’s too well handicapped to dismiss back at venue where he has such a good record.

Jesse Evans

Trainer: Noel Meade Jockey: Eoin Walsh Age: 5 Weight: 11st 8lbs

Progressive over hurdles, winning at Killarney in July and fine fourth in Galway Hurdle in July. Warmed up for this with a Flat win at Navan last month. Much respected.

Glory And Fortune

Trainer: Tom Lacey Jockey: Stan Sheppard Age: 6 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Has returned an improved performer this autumn, scoring at Plumpton before taking the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las. Strong traveller who could have even more to come.


Trainer: Alan King Jockey: A. P. Heskin Age: 4 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Smart on Flat and has quickly reached similar level over hurdles. Should be spot on for this after good reappearance run here recently and yard is seeking a third win in this since 2017. Shortlisted.


Trainer: Philip Hobbs Jockey: Aidan Coleman Age: 5 Weight: 11st 5lbs

His improvement this autumn has come around 2½m, including a Grade 2 win at Chepstow, but he has some good efforts to his name in 2m handicaps and should play a part again.

Botox Has

Trainer: Gary Moore Jockey: Niall Houlihan Age: 5 Weight: 11st 5lbs

Hasn’t quite progressed as anticipated since taking a C&D conditions race a year ago, including falling heavily on his chase debut/return. On the plus side his yard is in very good form at present.

Tudor City

Trainer: A. J. Martin Jockey: Miss M. O’Sullivan Age: 9 Weight: 11st 4lbs

Not at best over hurdles in the summer but he he does arrive on the back of a big-field Flat success at Leopardstown last month. Well beaten in this 12 months ago but his mark is lower now.


Trainer: Alastair Ralph Jockey: Nick Scholfield Age: 5 Weight: 11st 3lbs

Hurdle/chase winner in France who was better when ever when taking a Taunton handicap hurdle for Paul Nicholls in February. Has left that yard since finishing third at Warwick in May.

Bua Boy

Trainer: Denis Hogan Jockey: Denis Hogan Age: 6 Weight: 11st 1lbs

Has posted good runner-up efforts at the Galway and Listowel Festivals this season. A mark in the mid-130s demands a career best but this Irish raiders profile is largely progressive.

Marie’s Rock

Trainer: Nicky Henderson Jockey: Sean Bowen Age: 6 Weight: 11st 0lbs

Couple of underwhelming runs last term but took step back in right direction after wind op when 7¾ lengths third to Molly Ollys Wishes in Wetherby mares’ listed on return. Needs to build on that now.

Straw Fan Jack

Trainer: Sheila Lewis Jockey: Sean Houlihan Age: 6 Weight: 10st 13lbs

Not up to an Aintree Grade 1 on his final start last season but he was firmly back on track when narrowly denied in a C&D handicap on his reappearance 22 days ago. Not discounted.

West Cork

Trainer: Dan Skelton Jockey: Harry Skelton Age: 7 Weight: 10st 13lbs

Useful 2m novice hurdler in 2019/20, including second in Kempton Grade 2. This no easy race to return from a long absence in but a mark in the mid-130s could underestimate him.

Advanced Virgo

Trainer: Charles Byrnes Jockey: Daryl Jacob Age: 6 Weight: 10st 12lbs

Creditable fifth of 18 in Listowel handicap hurdle in September and third in a big field on Flat at Leopardstown last month. Not obviously well treated but yard’s runners always respected.

No Ordinary Joe

Trainer: Nicky Henderson Jockey: Nico de Boinville Age: 5 Weight: 10st 12lbs

Promising type who readily landed the odds in novice hurdles at Southwell and Worcester in May. Lacks experience for a race of this nature but he’s a fascinating runner.

Mount Windsor

Trainer: Chris Gordon Jockey: Tom Cannon Age: 6 Weight: 10st 12lbs

Made good strides last season, winning 4 on the bounce at up to 19f. Too free and shaped better than the result suggests when down the field 19.5f Silver Trophy at Chepstow on reappearance.


Trainer: Brian Ellison Jockey: Danny McMenamin Age: 5 Weight: 10st 11lbs

Runner-up in Swinton at Haydock in May. Scored twice on Flat subsequently and made sound return to hurdles when fourth of 12 to Glory And Fortune in Welsh Champion last month. Yard won this before.

Galice Macalo

Trainer: Mrs Jane Williams Jockey: Chester Williams Age: 5 Weight: 10st 10lbs

Won 3 times in novice company last season and shaped well when fourth of 9 on her Chepstow reappearance 36 days ago. Hood added (can take keen hold). Could have a big say.

Rowland Ward

Trainer: Stuart Edmunds Jockey: Brian Hughes Age: 5 Weight: 10st 10lbs

Improved with the aid of a first-time tongue strap when landing a big-field Aintree handicap in April. Creditable efforts in defeat since, including fourth of 17 in Silver Trophy at Chepstow latest.

Mick Maestro

Trainer: Nick Kent Jockey: Charlie Hammond Age: 8 Weight: 10st 9lbs

Dual handicap hurdle winner upon joining present stable last winter. Largely struggled from mark in mid-130s thereafter, although stamina stretched over 19f at Warwick when last seen in May.

Timeform Verdict: A typically competitive renewal, with a chance taken on GALICE MACALO who shaped well on her Chepstow reappearance and has a strong-travelling style which should be well suited to the demands of this race. Unexposed pair West Cork, who returns from a lay-off, and No Ordinary Joe are very interesting contenders for top yards. Alan King has a good record in this so Tritonic is also on the shortlist.


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