Jordan Yates' Greatwood Hurdle Preview. (18/11/2018)
The Greatwood Hurdle is the feature affair on Day 3 of the Cheltenham November Meeting a Grade 3 Handicap that’s contested over a distance of just over two miles. This year’s renewal see’s the inform Verdana Blue head affairs for Nicky Henderson. A smart performer over both codes and was last seen when winning the Elite Hurdle last week at Wincanton. She’s certainly the one to beat with Jeremiah McGrath on board. Western Ryder sits prominently in the market for Warren Greatrex, he’s always been a well thought of sort and comes here with an obvious chance. His opening mark doesnt look the easiest though but he does have the services of Richard Johnson. There’s three horses in this race that currently feature in my Tracker and the first of these comes in the form of Dan Skelton’s Nube Negra. A horse of Spanish origin who comes here off the back of a fine campaign last term where he went on to finish third in the Fred Winter here at The Festival. He’s had a wind operation during his break and there could well be more to come. The second of my Tracker Horses here is the Evan Williams trained Silver Streak. Winner of the Welsh Champion Hurdle and the Swinton Hurdle in his last two starts he’s shooting up the weights however he is only five and his progression may well not be done yet. Alan King’s Deyrann De Carjac concludes the three, he comes here off a mark that doesn’t look too harsh and is still very much unexposed. He’ll likely to be a big price but he could well surprise a few.
Storm Rising has been in great form since joining Dr Richard Newland with two dominant successes including one here last month. He’s got more on his plate here though and will need to take a sizeable step up under Charlie Hammond should he feature again. The Doctor is also represented here by Le Patriote, who took another step up last time when winning at Ayr but he’s also got more on his plate once here in a tougher contest with a further six pound rise. Scottish Champion Hurdle winner Midnight Shadow takes his place in the line up for Sue Smith, he’s up seven pounds and is another that will need to step up should he play a part at the business end. Nicky Henderson is also represented here by Charli Parcs, he was last seen when finishing fourth in the Scottish Champion Hurdle and this well thought of lightly raced sort has each way claims should he turn up on a going day. Paul Nicholls sends Old Guard to take his chance again in the race, a horse that is quite incredibly still only seven. He won this race back in 2015 and ran a great race when third in it last year. He shaped as though longer trips are what he requires now judging his run last time at Wetherby and he is vulnerable to the more unexposed sorts in field. County Hurdle winner Mohayyed made a decent enough return to the track with a four placed effort the last day but looks up against it at the weights whereas Irish Roe will need to take a big step up from a slightly moderate effort at Wetherby last time.
SILVER STREAK - (8/1) (E/W)
NUBE NEGRA - (9/1) (E/W)