International Hurdle betting tips: Silver Streak well worth chancing at Cheltenham

The 2018 International Hurdle betting tips from Horsebetting.com say Silver Streak looks a value bet to land the spoils in the valuable Grade 2 race over 2m 1f at Cheltenham on Saturday, 15 December. Western Ryder is better off at the weights with Evan Williams’ runner from the Greatwood, so is feared most on revised terms. Vision Des Flos, meanwhile, finished ahead of favourite Summerville Boy last time out and looks the best each-way value in the eight-runner field. Our 2018 International Hurdle betting tips preview has more.

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Odds
7/1
Selection
Silver Streak
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Odds
15/2
Danger
Western Ryder
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Odds
11/1
E/W
Vision Des Flos
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Silver Streak value in International Hurdle

Five-year-olds have the best record in the International Hurdle in recent years, so Silver Streak is taken to go one better than when a gallant runner-up in the Greatwood last time out and land this 2m 1f Grade 2 contest at Cheltenham on Saturday (15:05). This Evan Williams trained gelding is an improving sort who can prove himself better than a handicapper here.

Silver Streak has won five of his 13 hurdles starts and placed on another four occasions. After landing three of his four outings over timber, this son of Dark Angel was a three-length runner-up to Hunter’s Call in a Grade 3 handicap at Ascot 12 months ago.

Although he then unseated in the valuable Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, Silver Streak was next far from disgraced when an 11 1/2 lengths sixth to Mr Antolini in the Imperial Cup at Sandown. He took a big step forward from that when produced late to win going away in the Grade 3 Swinton at Haydock.

This was all the more remarkable as Silver Streak got hampered by a faller two out and had to be ridden hard to keep up the challenge. It was a very taking display and, following the summer off, he reappeared in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las.

Improving hurdler

Silver Streak was produced to lead at the last and again driven to run on well on the flat. He was getting plenty of weight from The New One, who re-opposes in this and was an out of sorts seventh. While that popular veteran is much better off at the weights, he is twice the age of his young rival and there is talk of the three-time International Hurdle winner retiring after this.

While Silver Streak was a neck second in the Greatwood on the old course here at Cheltenham last time out, that does not tell the whole story. He was trying to give Nietzsche a massive 26lb, so as he was only held by a narrow margin, it was massive effort in the circumstances.

Connections clearly mean business here as in-form jockey Barry Geraghty takes the ride on Silver Streak for the first time. He is operating at a 30 per cent strike rate in the last fortnight at the time of writing, so everything looks in place for a huge run. It’s Silver Streak then who looks great value at the current odds on offer and he is our tip to win in these 2018 International Hurdle betting tips.

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Western Ryder feared most

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle hero Summerville Boy heads the market, but was an abject fourth and last to finish in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle on reappearance. While he might come on for that run, he has no form on good ground and so Western Ryder, who was fifth in the Greatwood and is now 4lb better off with Silver Streak, is feared most.

This Warren Greatrex trained six-year-old may have the most to find on official figures, but was a highly-regarded bumper performer. Western Ryder won at Listed level in that sphere and was then fifth in the 2017 Champion Bumper at the Festival here.

He then improved past Lalor and beat him over hurdles by a couple of lengths at this meeting 12 months ago. The runner-up went on to land a Grade 1 at Aintree, so that is strong form and connections have highly tried Western Ryder since.

Better off at the weights with rivals

Although then a toiling fourth in the mud in the Grade 1 Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown, he improved to a seven-length sixth behind Summerville Boy in the Supreme in March. Western Ryder is now getting 3lb from the favourite and a sounder surface to race on, with any forecast rain or sleet not a problem.

After rounding off the campaign a six-length fifth to Black Op when stepped up in trip for Mersey Novices’ Hurdle, he returned in the Greatwood when only weakening close home. Not only is Western Ryder 4lb better off with Silver Streak, but with the third Old Guard who also re-opposes.

With champion jockey Richard Johnson aboard and on a better than 20 per cent win ratio in the last fortnight, everything looks in place for his mount to go close. Western Ryder is thus one of many dangers for Silver Streak to think about in our 2018 International Hurdle betting tips.

Vision Des Flos could confirm Fighting Fifth form

Eight are set to go to post, so that makes Vision Des Flos, who finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Summerville Boy in the Fighting Fifth, look each-way value despite being the outsider of the field. The Colin Tizzard trained five-year-old is 1lb better off with the favourite here in a race where a case can be made for many.

Although Vision Des Flos has only won one of his nine hurdles outings for the late Alan and Ann Potts, he has also made the frame on six other occasions. After winning the valuable Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the 2017 Punchestown Festival when in the care of Robert Tyner, he came over from Ireland and joined Team Tizzard.

Vision Des Flos came third and fourth in novice Grade 2s at Chepstow and Cheltenham over further last autumn and had a wind op following a disappointing seven-length second at Hereford. That seemed to unlock this highly-regarded gelding as he then landed a Listed event at Exeter when a cruising 31-length winner next time out.

Solid runs in defeat

Connections stepped Vision Des Flos back up and contested the Ballymore at the Festival here in March, where he was beaten less than 10 lengths in sixth by Samcro. He was then a 2 1/2 lengths runner-up to Lalor in another Grade 1 at Aintree and occupied the same spot behind Draconien at Punchestown.

Although unseating on reappearance and chase debut at Ffos Las, he was a keeping on 2 3/4 length runner-up when switched back to hurdles at Aintree last month. The third horse home Unowhatimeanharry, who was 1 1/2 lengths behind Vision Des Flos, has since come out and won the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

While he was beaten 21 lengths by Buveur D’Air in the Fighting Fifth, he was never really put in the race and plugged on for placed prize money. Summerville Boy has more to prove than Vision Des Flos, so at the double figure odds on offer at present, he is each-way value and completes our 2018 International Hurdle betting tips.

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