Cheltenham Festival day 3 betting tips for the JLT Novices Hurdle where Yorkhill is the short priced favourite – will the novice get the money home for punters?
The JLT Novices Chase is one of the newest races to be introduced into the Cheltenham Festival calendar and was won in 2015 by the ill-fated Vautour who proceeded to win the Ryanair Chase over a similar distance last season. Several of the contenders for this month’s JLT may have plans for a similar course of action.
JLT Novices Hurdle Betting Tips
Current favourite for the race is the Willie Mullins trained Yorkhill who won the Neptune last season and his unbeaten in two starts over fences this term. Priced at between 6-4 and 7-4 for the JLT, Yorkhill was a comfortable winner of his opening chase at Fairyhouse before claiming victory by less than two lengths during January at Leopardstown. However, Ruby Walsh did not ask the horse a serious question and could have won by a much greater margin than the form book indicates.
Yorkhill is likely to be opposed by Nicky Henderson’s Top Notch who claimed a four-timer when winning impressively at Sandown in his previous race. The 6-year-old gelding was fifth in last season’s Champion Hurdle, but has failed to win in three appearances at Cheltenham and may prefer soft ground as were the conditions at Sandown. Although he can be backed at 4/1 for this race, there is a tendency for Top Notch to perform better in smaller fields, while stable companion Whisper is another possible contender having won both contests this season at Cheltenham.
Paul Nicholls is also quietly confident regarding the prospects of Politologue but he is another horse displaying decent form with few other runners in the race, and he has lost in two previous races at Prestbury Park. Politologue was also beaten by Waiting Patiently at Haydock over a similar distance earlier this year, and may just lack the quality to win this event.
Of more interest is the outsider Cloudy Dream, trained by Malcolm Jefferson and currently on offer at about 25/1. The 7-year-old impressed in his first two starts over fences before following home Buveur D’air at Haydock. He was then beaten into second place in a four-runner event at Doncaster with Jefferson claiming that the winner just found an extra gear in a slowly run race. All four chases to date for Cloudy Dream have been contested at about two miles, but he won over nearly 2m4f as a hurdler and may just want to race over further than two miles. He has several engagements at the Festival but this race would appear to be his prime objective.
Cheltenham Day 3 Tips
JLT Novices Hurdle – Cloudy Dream (each-way) – 25/1 with bet365.
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