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15:35 Cheltenham – Cleeve HurdleJust 45 days to go until we hear the first roar of the crowd as the Cheltenham Festival gets underway but don’t worry we don’t have to wait that long to bear witness to some top class horses charging up that illustrious Gloucestershire hill.With a total of 7 Grade 2 races this Saturday (4 of them at Cheltenham) it’s been tricky to pinpoint a stand out contest but the history of the 3 mile Cleeve Hurdle burns bright. Past winners include the likes of Big Bucks, Inglis Drever and one of this years Gold Cup hopefuls Thistlecrack. Wether or not we’ll see a superstar in that sort of mould this time around only time will tell but there’s a great mix of promising youngsters and more seasoned pros set to lineup.At the head of the market is the Emma Lavelle trained Paisley Park who has done nothing wrong in claiming a trio of back to back victories culminating in an absolute demolition job at Ascot last time out. The Grade 1 winning seven year old has done nothing wrong in what he’s accomplished this term and demands a tonne of respect however Cheltenham is a unique undertaking for any horse and if you can find a runner that’s proven here it’s a big advantage. The Aidan Coleman ridden Paisley Park is bound to go close and could turn out to be a future superstar but in a race this competitive all punters should be on the hunt for value and we hope to have unearthed it in the form of Wholestone.Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has bagged a few winners this past fortnight and has his horses in fine fettle. Wholestone may have been a tad disappointing this term but when we’re looking for a horse with a great record at Cheltenham you can’t look any further than him. Nine runs in total at Cheltenham and not a single finish outside of the top three. Undoubtedly we’ll have put a curse on him just saying that but if the addition of blinkers can squeeze out further improvement his odds look far too generous and something we should take full advantage of.Of the rest former winners of the race Agrapart and Unowhatimeanharry have been there and done it but perhaps their best days are behind them and young guns Black Op and Midnight Shadow have enough potential to join the party. Never the less whatever the outcome of the race it’ll go a long way to help solve the puzzle for the Stayers Hurdle come March.WHOLESTONE (E/W)

ITV Races:

13:50 Cheltenham – Activial (E/W)

14:05 Doncaster – Truckers Lodge (WIN)

14:25 Cheltenham – Elegant Escape (WIN)

14:40 Doncaster – Chica Buena (E/W)

15:00 Cheltenham – Birchdale (WIN) NAP

15:15 Doncaster – O O Seven (E/W)

15:35 Cheltenham – Wholestone (E/W)


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