Zubayr well treated in Elite Hurdle – Wincanton 11/11/2017
The 3.00 at Wincanton on Saturday is the £60,000 Unibet Elite Hurdle, a limited handicap over two miles.
Charbel tops the weights in Elite Hurdle
The race was formerly regarded as an early trial for the Champion Hurdle before it became a handicap.
The top weight is Kim Bailey’s Charbel, an unlucky faller in last season’s Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham. He was still just ahead of odds-on favourite Altior when falling at the second last. Charbel was made favourite to make amends at Aintree but was never travelling with any fluency. He eventually finished third behind San Benedeto but it was a long way short of his Cheltenham form. His future will be back over fences this season.
The favourite is Nicky Henderson’s Lough Derg Spirit, a gelding by Westerner. He has won two of his four races but was pulled up at Aintree in April. He had beaten Peter The Mayo Many at Musselburgh in February on good ground. A mistake put paid to his chances at Aintree and he will be better suited by the smaller field at Wincanton.
Zubayr fancied for Wincanton victory
Paul Nicholls saddles Zubayr, a faller at the last flight here a year ago. He looked held by Sceau Royal at the time. He has continued to run well in valuable handicaps over hurdles, most recently when second at Haydock in August.
Zubayr was beaten a short-head by Chesterfield in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr in April. He then finished fifth to runaway winner John Constable in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock. Sam Twiston-Davies takes the ride at Wincanton and Zubayr can gain reward for his consistency.
Noel Fehily rides Flying Tiger for Nick Williams, a four-year-old gelding by Soldier Of Fortune. He sprang a 33-1 surprise when winning the Fred Winter Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Flying Tiger then finished fourth to Defi Du Seuil at Aintree. Flying Tiger will be sharper for his recent run on the flat behind Danehill Kodiac at Ascot. He was beaten just over four lengths into fifth place in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes. That was a very promising effort and he could be one to follow this season.
London Prize finished second in the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket on the level. He won the Imperial Cup last season when rated 128. He should still be competitive off a 6lbs higher mark.
Wincanton Betting Tips 11/11/2017
3.00 Unibet Elite Hurdle