Greatwood Handicap Hurdle betting tips: Western Ryder weighted to strike in Cheltenham feature

Horsebetting.com experts give their Greatwood handicap Hurdle betting tips for the 2m feature on the six-race card at Cheltenham on Sunday, 18 November. Western Ryder has some top class form in the book, so looks worth a wager to land the spoils under champion jockey Richard Johnson. Nube Negra is an unexposed sort who hails from the in-form yard of Dan Skelton, who won the race in 2017, and is feared most. Silver Streak is on a serious upward curve, meanwhile, and looks to hold solid each-way claims. Read our in-depth 2018 Greatwood Handicap Hurdle betting tips preview for more details on these horses’ chances the final day of of the November Meeting at the home of jumps racing.

Ladbrokes logo
Odds
7/1
Selection
Western Ryder
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Coral logo
Odds
10/1
Danger
Nube Negra
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William Hill logo
Odds
8/1
E/W
Silver Streak
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Western Ryder well worth siding with in Greatwood

Western Ryder looks well-treated on the pick of his form and worth a wager to land the spoils in the Grade 3 feature race at Cheltenham on Sunday, the ultra-competitive 2m Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (15:00). This Warren Greatrex trained six-year-old was a very smart bumper performer who won two of his seven starts over hurdles last season.

In the second of those, the son of Westerner stayed on strongly in the closing stages to beat Lalor by two lengths over 2m 1f at this venue. The runner-up, to whom he was condeing 6lb, went on to land a Grade 1 at Aintree, while the third home Summerville Boy subsequently bagged two successes at the highest level – the last of those coming in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival here in March off an official rating of 150.

That gives the form a rock solid look and Western Ryder was also far from disgraced when seventh in the Supreme. He then went on to round-off the campaign with a decent 6 1/4 lengths fifth of 12 to the hugely exciting Black Op in the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National meeting off a rating of 145.

He now makes his handicap debut of exactly the same mark and that looks exploitable, especially on the strength of his aforementioned win here. Champion jockey Richard Johnson also gets a good tune out of him and is once again in the plate.

The fact that Western Ryder also has winning form over further is also a plus, as this race is usually run at a very strong end-to-end gallop which brings stamina into play. So, with the prospect of even better to come this season, he had to be the main selection of our 2018 Greatwood Handicap Hurdle betting tips.

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Nube Negra the pick of Skelton trio

Dan Skelton saddled North Hill Harvey to land the race in 2016 and launches a three-pronged attack on this year’s renewal. The pick looks to be Nube Negra, who progressed throughout last season when winning two of his five starts and now return to action following wind surgery.

The four-year-old scored in terrific style on debut at Market Rasen when beating Knight Destroyer by nine lengths, then lost little in defeat when runner-up to Nicky Henderson’s very smart filly Apple’s Shakira at this venue. Nube Negra threw down a challenge rounding the home bend and, after making a mistake at the last, stuck to the task nicely to be beaten 3 1/2 lengths by a rival to whom he had to concede 6lb.

The son of Dibk then got back to winnings ways when scoring hard held by eight lengths at Doncaster, before running a blinder to finish third of 22 to Veneer of Charm over course and distance in the Fred Winter at the Festival in March off a rating of 135. Nube Negra runs in this off an unchanged mark, so that gives him every chance from a handicapping perspective.

It’s also very interesting that he has had a wind op, as he shaped as if he could have had a breathing issue on the final start of the campaign when fifth to We Have A Dream in a Grade 1 at Aintree where his run flattened out. So, with the ground fine, Nube Negra looks to have the right profile for this and rates the main danger to Western Ryder. With some bookies offering enhanced place terms, he looks to hold solid each-way claims.

Silver Streak looks sure to go well

In a typically fierce and wide-open renewal, Silver Streak is another who makes plenty of each-way appeal. This Evan Williams trained five-year-old has a progressive profile and won five of his 12 starts. He put in a tremendous performance when beating Chesterfield by three-quarters of a length in the valuable 16-runner Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock back in May.

After racing in mid-division, Silver Streak began to make a move going well three from home. He then got badly hampered at the second last and that appeared to have put paid to his chances. However, once gathered up again by jockey Adam Wedge, he came from three lengths down at the last and powered up the long run-in to get up close home and score a shade cosily in the end.

Given how the race panned out, it was an effort which could be upgraded and one which suggested there was even better to come from the son of Dark Angel. That view was confirmed when Silver Streak defied a 7lb rise in the weights when making a winning return to action in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las last month.

He again came from off the pace before running on strongly to cosily beat Le Prezien by three lengths. The assessor has hit Silver Streak with a further 6lb rise for that taking success, but a revised mark of 145 may not be beyond him as he is clearly on a serious upward curve.

Silver Streak also has a 45 per cent strike rate over the 2m trip of this and underfoot conditions to suit. He therefore had to feature as an each-way punt and completes our 2018 Greatwood Handicap Hurdle betting tips.

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