Greatwood Handicap Hurdle tips and runner-by-runner guide to Cheltenham 2.55 on Sunday

Get to know the runners and riders.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

I Like To Move It heads the field for the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The five-year-old is a course-and-distance winner after landing the Supreme Trial at last year’s November Meeting, but the likes of hat-trick seeker Sonigino, Dads Lad and Thousand Tears are also competing for favouritism.

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Sunday’s 14:55 boasts a prize pot worth £100,000, including £56,270 for the winner, so it’s no surprise that a bumper field of 16 are set to go to post.

Greatwood Handicap Hurdle odds can be found on the Paddy Power and Paddy Power app, otherwise Timeform’s runner-by-runner guide and betting tips from the racing boffins are below.

Greatwood Handicap Hurdle runners

I Like To Move It

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Age: 5 Weight: 12st 0lbs

Useful dual bumper winner and smart novice hurdler last season, including a Grade 2 win over C&D. Showed he can mix it in competitive handicaps when close second in Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. Well held in County here on final start but capable of bouncing back.

****

Cormier

Trainer: Brian Ellison Jockey: Ben Bromley Age: 6 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Tough, dependable sort who has a course win to his name. Arrives fit from the Flat but he will require a career best to overcome his current mark.

***

N’golo

Trainer: Patrick Neville Jockey: Gavin Sheehan Age: 7 Weight: 11st 9lbs

Saw off Severance by 6½ lengths when producing a career best to win the Swinton at Haydock in May but 8 lb rise demands more of him again on this return to action. Formerly trained by Ann Duffield.

***

A Different Kind

Trainer: Donald McCain Jockey: Brian Hughes Age: 5 Weight: 11st 8lbs

Useful novice hurdler last season and made an encouraging handicap debut/reappearance when short-head second of 11 at Aintree (2½m, good to soft) 3 weeks ago. Fine at this shorter trip. One to consider.

****

Harbour Lake

Trainer: Alan King Jockey: Tom Cannon Age: 6 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Very promising, winning all 4 completed starts over hurdles, overcoming unfavourable circumstances (short of room and conceded first run) when getting up towards the finish in a Market Rasen handicap on his reappearance 29 days ago. More to come. Big player for a yard with good record in this.

****

Sonigino

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Harry Cobden Age: 5 Weight: 11st 5lbs

This French recruit failed to win for this yard last season but has looked a different proposition since returning from wind surgery, winning a pair of 2m Chepstow handicaps last month. More on his plate off 10 lb higher here but it’s dangerous to rule out further progress given who trains him.

***

Nina The Terrier

Trainer: Alan King Jockey: Tom Bellamy Age: 6 Weight: 11st 3lbs

Completed a hat-trick over hurdles in novice company last season. Good second to the reopposing Sonigino on her Chepstow reappearance in October. In the process of running creditably when falling 3 out in Wetherby mares’ listed latest.

***

Gin Coco

Trainer: Harry Fry Jockey: Jonathan Burke Age: 6 Weight: 11st 3lbs

Low-mileage 6-y-o who made light of a 17-month absence to make winning yard debut in a Fontwell maiden in March. Improved again when second in big-field Punchestown handicap in April and readily landed short odds in a Newton Abbot novice on his return to action last month. Very much unexposed.

*****

Thousand Tears

Trainer: Emmet Mullins Jockey: Aidan Coleman Age: 7 Weight: 11st 1lbs

Quite a useful hurdler for his previous trainer. Midfield in a Flat maiden on his first outing for this much respected stable in July and very interesting contender back hurdling. Yard won this race in 2020.

****

Severance

Trainer: Ben Pauling Jockey: Kielan Woods Age: 6 Weight: 11st 1lbs

Useful sort who was second in competitive handicaps at Aintree and Haydock (to N’Golo) in the spring. Ran creditably from 4 lb out of the handicap on his return to action at Ffos Las 5 weeks ago. Another to consider.

****

Dads Lad

Trainer: W. P. Mullins Jockey: B. Hayes Age: 7 Weight: 11st 0lbs

Has won his last 4 outings over fences, the latest success coming in a 2m course handicap 3 weeks ago. Also a respectable fifth of 17 in a Listowel handicap hurdle in September. Remains potentially well treated off his lower mark in this sphere.

****

Current Mood

Trainer: Evan Williams Jockey: Adam Wedge Age: 7 Weight: 10st 13lbs

Won 3 times last season and was a creditable third in a 2½m Ffos Las handicap on her reappearance 3 weeks ago. More will be needed in this deeper race, though.

***

Playful Saint

Trainer: Dan Skelton Jockey: Harry Skelton Age: 7 Weight: 10st 11lbs

Juvenile hurdle winner in France who defied an absence of 3 years to make a winning yard/handicap debut at Wetherby in March. Shaped as if in need of run when 19¼ lengths fourth of 6 to Sonigino on 2m Chepstow reappearance 18 days ago. Stable has won this twice since 2016.

***

First Impression

Trainer: John Quinn Jockey: Billy Garritty Age: 5 Weight: 10st 10lbs

Won a Wetherby handicap hurdle last November and mostly good efforts since, including on the Flat this autumn (won at Ayr in September). Hard to argue his mark looks generous but he ought to give his running.

***

Mark Of Gold

Trainer: Gary Moore Jockey: Niall Houlihan Age: 5 Weight: 10st 10lbs

Fairly useful winner on the Flat swho has taken well to hurdle, winning 3 times last season. Went in again on his Plumpton reappearance 27 days ago but he faces a much more competitive scenario here.

***

Castel Gandolfo

Trainer: Fergal O’Brien Jockey: Paddy Brennan Age: 5 Weight: 10st 6lbs

Successful twice over hurdles at around 2m during 2021 and filled runner-up spot on 4 occasions since. Creditable fourth over C&D last month but he was a below-form fifth at Newbury 10 days ago. Others are much more obvious.

**

Greatwood Handicap Hurdle tips

Timeform: Harry Fry landed a big handicap on the Flat last weekend and might be able to land another nice prize here courtesy of GIN COCO, who surely has more to come after only 5 career starts. Irish raiders Thousand Tears, who is having his first hurdle outing for Emmet Mullins, and Dads Lad, a chase winner here at the October meeting, head the many possible dangers along with Alan King’s Harbour Lake.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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