Cleeve Hurdle Preview – Saturday 30th January
Last updated: January 29, 2021 by Leon Marshal
It is Cheltenham Trials Day on Saturday with some big names on show. The Cotswold Chase and the Triumph Hurdle Trial are likely to impact the ante-post festival betting but perhaps the most significant trial is the Cleeve Hurdle. Eight of the last fourteen Stayers’ Hurdle winners had their previous start in this race.
Paisley Park has won this race for the past two seasons, going on to win the Stayers’ Hurdle in 2019 but failing behind Lisnagar Oscar last season. He bids for a hat-trick on Saturday which would cement his position as favourite to regain his Stayers’ Hurdle crown.
Paisley Park Odds-On For Cleeve Hurdle Hat-Trick
Trainer Emma Lavelle reports her stable star to be in great form following his narrow victory in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot last month. The son of Oscar had reportedly suffered from an irregular heartbeat when disappointing at last season’s Festival. He was given a 260-day break before making an encouraging reappearance behind Thyme Hill at Newbury.
It looked as though that form would be confirmed at Ascot by Aidan Coleman produced Paisley Park with a late run to beat Thyme Hill by a neck. The third horse that day was Roksana who coasted to victory in a Grade 2 at Ascot last Saturday. The Ascot form looks the best in the staying division this season and Paisley Park is confidently expected to take another step towards the Festival.
His main market rival is Itchy Feet, reverting to hurdles after some decent efforts over fences. Olly Murphy’s seven-year-old won the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown last February but unseated his rider at Cheltenham next time. He has been placed in all three races over fences this season and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the smaller obstacles.
Main Fact Aiming To Return To Winning Ways
together an unbeaten run of nine races on the flat and over hurdles, rising a staggering 43lbs in the handicap. His win in a valuable handicap at Haydock in November earned him a tilt at Grade 1 company but he was never a factor behind Paisley Park at Ascot. Despite his consistency, he does not look a straight-forward ride and the deeper the ground the better for him.
Ramses De Teillee was a successful novice hurdler last season but is better known for his exploits over fences. He made no impression at Aintree or Chepstow on his last two starts but he looks outclassed against Paisley Park here. Honest Vic was over twelve lengths behind Thyme Hill at Newbury and it is difficult to see him finishing in front of the favourite on that evidence.
Unowhatimeanharry won this race back in 2017 and it would be a remarkable achievement to win at the age of 13. He chalked up his fourteenth win under rules at Aintree in November but was well beaten off a 3lbs higher mark at Cheltenham next time. A bigger threat could be Third Wind, runner-up to Main Fact at Haydock and a fair fifth to Paisley Park at Ascot. He looks to have a future over fences but is good enough to grab some place money here.
Cleeve Hill Hurdle Betting Tips
Paisley Park @4-7 William Hill
Third Wind @11-1
Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2
The Cleeve Hill Hurdle is due off at 3.35 at Cheltenham on Saturday 30th January and will be televised live on ITV.