Sunday ITV Racing Tips: Torcello can go well in Greatwood – Betting.betfair

Posted: November 16, 2019 at 3:46 pm


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To be perfectly honest with you, only one race really gets the punting fires burning at Cheltenham on Sunday, and that is the Greatwood Hurdle at 15:00.

And in a further bout of truth, I really do think that the market has now landed on the right favourite in the shape of Monsieur Lecoq.

He is three-from-five since joining the stable from France, will love the ground and I think a 7lb rise for beating Le Prezien by a short-head in the Welsh Champion Hurdle, the pair 6 lengths clear, on his return is fair enough.

There must be more to come from this 5yo but the problem is that the ship has sailed as regards his price, so we have to look elsewhere.

Recent Flat form puts Torcello in the mix

Ascot winner Gumball has a leading chance on the clock and I like the way Quoi De Neuf shaped at Chepstow, but I have been chipping away at Torcello since earlier in the week and I have little hesitation in putting him up as the bet in the race at 16/1 each way, four places, with the Betfair Sportsbook.

I got lucky with Nietzsche at a big price in this race last season and one of his part-owners was Dan Gilbert, who is solely responsible for paying the bills for Torcello.

And this has the look of a long-term plot to me.

Gilbert bought the 5yo for 33,000 in May and he has recaptured his best on the Flat in winning his last three starts, and he is now rated 88 in that sphere (he actually hit 91 when trained by Andrew Balding in 2017).

So if he can translate that ability to hurdles, then he must be a player here off a mark of just 127.

Granted, that is no more than fair on what he has actually achieved over hurdles, harsh even. His Tramore maiden hurdle win in 2018 worked out well enough but he failed to progress as expected in that department, it has to be said.

And I was expecting connections to put headgear on him here as he often looked in need of them over hurdles (he wore a hood when winning at Tramore, and has also been tried in cheek pieces).

But you can't question his attitude on the Flat of late, as he battled hard to land his hat-trick at Windsor by a short-head last month, and all of those three wins came on soft or heavy ground.

Maybe he has simply turned a corner again, so he will do for me at the prices.

Santos the right fav but he might just need the run

The rest of the Cheltenham card does little for my enthusiasm, as the other ITV races include a Cross Country race - this column does not "do" Cross Country, thanks - and a measly 13 runners cover the remaining three terrestrial contests, as classy as they are.

Not for me.

ITV viewers do have the Southern National at Fontwell to peruse though and Shanroe Santos looks a fair price at around the 5/1 mark.

He is just 1lb higher than when winning this race by 5 lengths last season, handles testing ground very well and he has had a wind op since we last saw him.

Everything looks set for a big run but his recent record suggests he may need a run to put him straight - he had a prep run before winning this race last season - and I fear a marathon slog here first-time-up could find him out.

No, just Torcello for me on the Sabbath. And they can leave out as many hurdles as they wish.

Good luck.

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November 16th, 2019 at 3:46 pm

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