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The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Tips (2:10pm)


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The County Hurdle is a fiercely competitive handicap run over an extended two miles on the new course and there are eight flights of hurdles to be jumped. This handicap can sometimes produce nightmare scenarios for jockeys and horses as they can find themselves blocked in at certain stages and have to jostle for position.

Willie Mullins and Dan Skelton have been the trainers to focus on in recent years having won the last six of the last seven renewals between them (three apiece). It often pays to ignore exposed runners with seven of the last ten winners having nine or fewer runs over hurdles. A trend that has emerged in recent renewals is that of ex-flat horses seem to be coming to the fore and as French horses seem to be developed at an enhanced rate, they seem to be well suited by this type of challenge. Seven of the last eight winners had been placed in their most recent starts with only two winners in the last ten not having raced within at least forty-eight days.

Filey Bay

Has been a profitable addition to the Emmet Mullins team since leaving Declan Wall late last year. The seven-year-old picked up wins at Doncaster and Wincanton in decent handicaps at similar trips. He was last seen finishing runner-up to Aucunrisque in the Betfair Hurdle. There is no doubt he is a talent and no surprise if he were to put his best foot forward here. A lack of experience around this track hasn’t stopped the last three winners of this race and he could well go close.

Hunters Yarn

Has impressed on his two most recent starts with wins at Navan and Naas. Crucially he has experience in large fields and that experience will be invaluable here. He remains progressive and could well give Willie Mullins an another winner in this race. He put some six lengths between himself and Imagine on his most recent run and there should be plenty more improvement left in him.

Pembroke

A winner of two low grade races late last year and was then upped in class to compete in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in January. A well backed favourite that day, but could not get to Rock My Way who got first run on him. With no experience in large fields and no flat experience to fall back on, he may well struggle in a race of this nature.

Gin Coco

Warmed up for this by being a good second to I Like To Move It over this course and distance in the Greatwood Hurdle last November. You only have to look as far back as 2016 when Superb Story plotted an identical path to victory as Harry Fry will be well aware. The Irish have had a firm grip on this race in the last three years, but he does look to be the best that the home contingent has to offer. The form of the race has been boosted again following subsequent wins for the winner as well as First Impression, Mark Of Gold and Soningino. He has to be rated a threat to all.

Winter Fog

Now in the care of Willie Mullins having left the care of Emmet Mullins. The nine-year-old won on his sole start for the Closutton handler when taking a handicap at Leopardstown just after Christmas. He pulled some six-and-a-half lengths clear of a decent field that day and there could well be more to come. He is also entered in the Coral Cup, but this could also be a viable target for him. If he runs he is likely to go extremely well having gained invaluable course experience in the Pertemps Handicap where he finished a solid fourth to Third Wind.

Path D’Oroux

Has gained two wins already this season at Galway and Navan. The most recent came in January where he got the better of Ifiwerearichman and Glamorgan Duke. It is difficult to assess just how good that form is though and others look to have stronger claims. He is clearly on an upward curve and if the ground were to turn soft, his claims would be enhanced. Based on what I have seen so far, he needs to improve again.

Sharjah

Has been a wonderful servant to Willie Mullins dow the years and has run some great races here in the past. He had to settle for the runner-up spot in two Champion Hurdles behind both Epatante and Honeysuckle. This looks the more likely of his three potential entries and with his sights lowered, this race could be tailor made for him. Willie Mullins won this with Arctic Fire who had a similar profile to Sharjah. He cannot be discounted and may well be the forgotten horse.

First Street

Was a good second to State Man in this last season, but Willie Mullins surely knows how good that form is and what it would take to beat him again. He was last seen upped in class when contesting the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton. On a line through I Like To Move It, Gin Coco would appear to have the beating of him also. He continues to move up the ratings but the handicapper may now have his measure.

Summary

Sharjah could well be the one here. The nine-year-old has this as his only realistic taget this season and we know that he certainly acts on the track. He still has a bit of class about him and as his trainer has shown in the past, he can get the older types right back to their very best for this race. With Winter Fog and Hunters Yarn also in the field, Willie Mullins holds very stong claims here.

Punters Lounge Tip: Sharjah @ 12/1 E/W NRNB at bet365 – Click Here To Bet
 
by Karl Hedley @Tumbleweed King
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  • StevieDay1983 changed the title to The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Tips (2:10pm)

With  NRNB i am happy to play   1.5pts  e/w  SOARING GLORY 40/1 1/4 4places CORALS

Jonjo 'O'Neil trained horse i think has a bit of class about him and is back on  his last winning mark  he  likes  better ground  and  with good ground being ideal if he gets it then big big chance imho and 40's will look outrageous His last run can be forgiven as tank emptied   over a distance to far back to Two miles is just what the doctor orderd . He is also entered for the Imperial cup at Sandown and is 16/1 i willl have a bet e/w but only if the ground suits.

P/L + 0.22pts

 

Edited by Tedthewolf
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20 minutes ago, Tedthewolf said:

With  NRNB i am happy to play   1.5pts  e/w  SOARING GLORY 40/1 1/4 4places CORALS

Jonjo 'O'Neil trained horse i think has a bit of class about him and is back on  his last winning mark  he  likes  better ground  and  with good ground being ideal if he gets it then big big chance imho and 40's will look outrageous His last run can be forgiven as tank emptied   over a distance to far back to Two miles is just what the doctor orderd . He is also entered for the Imperial cup at Sandown and is 16/1 i willl have a bet e/w but only if the ground suits.

Do you think it could be worth backing early doors in case Soaring Glory performs at the Imperial Cup? Or is it a case of playing it cautious and waiting to see how the Imperial Cup performance goes?

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8 minutes ago, StevieDay1983 said:

Do you think it could be worth backing early doors in case Soaring Glory performs at the Imperial Cup? Or is it a case of playing it cautious and waiting to see how the Imperial Cup performance goes?

I have backed  him already for  the county hurdle at  40's the thing is if he runs badly on Saturday they may pull him out  of the   Cheltenham race in which case i get my doe  back as would be the case if thet pulled him out because of ground conditions  but to be honest for me i am happy to take a chance as i am qute sweet on the horse chances and  as  i said i will probably back him on Saturday too but as long as the ground isn't to soft.  Martain pipe use to run  them in both races (imperial cup & a Cheltenham race) and indeed got the double up a couple of times  if i remember correctly  there is a bounus for it .

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On 3/8/2023 at 9:34 AM, Tedthewolf said:

With  NRNB i am happy to play   1.5pts  e/w  SOARING GLORY 40/1 1/4 4places CORALS

Jonjo 'O'Neil trained horse i think has a bit of class about him and is back on  his last winning mark  he  likes  better ground  and  with good ground being ideal if he gets it then big big chance imho and 40's will look outrageous His last run can be forgiven as tank emptied   over a distance to far back to Two miles is just what the doctor orderd . He is also entered for the Imperial cup at Sandown and is 16/1 i willl have a bet e/w but only if the ground suits.

P/L + 0.22pts

 

NR today in Imperial Cup, @Tedthewolf - 'official' reason being a runny nose

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The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle is a fiercely competitive handicap run over an extended two miles on the new course and there are eight flights of hurdles to jump. Traffic problems often occur here and can produce nightmare scenarios for both runners and riders as they can often find themselves blocked in at certain stages.

Willie Mullins and Dan Skelton have been the trainers to focus on in recent years having won the last six of the last seven renewals between them (three apiece). It often pays to ignore exposed runners with seven of the last ten winners having nine or fewer runs over hurdles. A trend that has emerged in recent renewals is that ex-flat horses seem to be coming to the fore and as French horses seem to be developed at an enhanced rate, they seem to be well suited to this type of challenge.

Year Horse Age Trainer Jockey
2022 State Man 5 Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2021 Belfast Banter 6 Pat Fahey Kevin Sexton
2020 Saint Roi 5 Willie Mullins Barry Geraghty
2019 Ch’tibello 8 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton
2018 Mohaayed 6 Dan Skelton Bridget Andrews
2017 Arctic Fire 8 Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2016 Superb Story 5 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton
2015 Wicklow Brave 6 Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2014 Lac Fontana 5 Paul Nicholls Daryl Jacob
2013 Ted Veale 6 Tony Martin Bryan Cooper
2012 Alderwood 8 Thomas Mullins Tony McCoy

Below are selected runners who are competing in the County Hurdle. I shall provide some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.

Filey Bay

Trainer: Emmett Mullins
Jockey: Mark Walsh

Has been a profitable addition to the Emmet Mullins team since leaving Declan Wall late last year. The seven-year-old picked up wins at Doncaster and Wincanton in decent handicaps at similar trips. He was last seen finishing runner-up to Aucunrisque in the Betfair Hurdle. There is no doubt he is a talent and no surprise if he were to put his best foot forward here. A lack of experience around this track hasn’t stopped the last three winners of this race and he could well go close.

Hunters Yarn

Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Paul Townend

Has impressed on his two most recent starts with wins at Navan and Naas. Crucially he has experience in large fields and that experience will be invaluable here. He remains progressive and could well give Willie Mullins another winner in this race. He put some six lengths between himself and Imagine on his most recent run and there should be plenty more improvement left in him.

Pembroke

Trainer: Dan Skelton
Jockey: Harry Skelton

A winner of two low-grade races late last year and was then upped in class to compete in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in January. A well-backed favourite that day, but could not get to Rock My Way who got the first run on him. With no experience in large fields and no flat experience to fall back on, he may well struggle in a race of this nature.

Gin Coco

Trainer: Harry Fry
Jockey: Jonathan Burke

Warmed up for this by being a good second to I Like To Move It over this course and distance in the Greatwood Hurdle last November. You only have to look as far back as 2016 when Superb Story plotted an identical path to victory as Harry Fry will be well aware. The Irish have had a firm grip on this race in the last three years, but he does look to be the best that the home contingent has to offer. The form of the race has been boosted again following subsequent wins for the winner as well as First Impression, Mark Of Gold and Sonigino. He has to be rated a threat to all.

Winter Fog

Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Kieran Callaghan

Now in the care of Willie Mullins having left the care of Emmet Mullins. The nine-year-old won on his sole start for the Closutton handler when taking a handicap at Leopardstown just after Christmas. He pulled some six-and-a-half lengths clear of a decent field that day and there could well be more to come. He is also entered in the Coral Cup, but this could also be a viable target for him. If he runs he is likely to go extremely well having gained invaluable course experience in the Pertemps Handicap where he finished a solid fourth to Third Wind.

Path D'Oroux

Trainer: Gavin Cromwell
Jockey: Keith Donoghue

Has gained two wins already this season at Galway and Navan. The most recent came in January when he got the better of Ifiwerearichman and Glamorgan Duke. It is difficult to assess just how good that form is though and others look to have stronger claims. He is clearly on an upward curve and if the ground were to turn soft, his claims would be enhanced. Based on what I have seen so far, he needs to improve again.

Sharjah

Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Mr P W Mullins

Has been a wonderful servant to Willie Mullins down the years and has run some great races here in the past. He had to settle for the runner-up spot in two Champion Hurdles behind both Epatante and Honeysuckle. This looks the more likely of his three potential entries and with his sights lowered, this race could be tailor-made for him. Willie Mullins won this with Arctic Fire who had a similar profile to Sharjah. He cannot be discounted and may well be the forgotten horse.

First Street

Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Jockey: Nico de Boinville

Was a good second to State Man in this last season, but Willie Mullins surely knows how good that form is and what it would take to beat him again. He was last seen upped in class when contesting the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton. On a line through I Like To Move It, Gin Coco would appear to have the beating of him also. He continues to move up the ratings but the handicapper may now have his measure.

[coffers ids="betfair-exchange"]

Saint Sam

Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Jack Foley

This type of race looks to be what suits him best as he was a fair second to Jeff Kidder here a couple of seasons ago in the Boodles Juvenile. He does have plenty of good form over this trip and he is well used to big fields. He doesn’t always give the impression that he wants to win but no surprise if he were to pop up in a race like this.

Ballyadam

Trainer: Henry De Bromhead
Jockey: Rachael Blackmore

Has spent a lot of time in the wilderness and hinted at a return to form when last seen chasing home Gaelic Warrior in a good handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival. He was far from disgraced in this race last year when fifth in a big field to State Man and the yard has signalled that they are in fine form following wins by Maskada and Honeysuckle this week. On that basis, it would be foolish to rule out a big run.

Aucurnisque

Trainer: Chris Gordon
Jockey: Tom Cannon

Genuinely surprised to see him entered here as all of his wins have come on flatter tracks such as Newbury, Aintree and Kempton. He is a really progressive and likeable sort but the handicapper may just have him in his grip now. He has been raised twenty-one pounds in the space of a year. Likely to run very well before fading.

Prairie Dancer

Trainer: Joseph O'Brien
Jockey: Brendan Powell

Was beaten a distance by Marine Nationale in a Grade One Novice Hurdle and by Brazil on what was his seasonal reappearance. Has it all to do here as his form seems to be tailing off rather than improving. Others also have far more experience of this track and his chances look to be remote.

Magnor Glory

Trainer: Terence O'Brien
Jockey: Michael O'Sullivan

Comes into this pretty fresh on the back of a nearly six-month lay-off. The more rain that falls looks to be against him as all recent wins have come on ground described as good. He has a top claimer on board though in Mikey O’Sullivan and they could grab minor honours.

The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Race Forecast Prices

9/2 Filey Bay, 7/1 Hunters Yarn, 8/1 Sharjah , 8/1 Gin Coco, 10/1 Winter Fog, 10/1 Pembroke, 12/1 Aucunrisque, 12/1 Path D'oroux, 16/1 First Street , 20/1 Ballyadam , 20/1 Saint Sam , 20/1 Magnor Glory , 25/1 Prairie Dancer

The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Race Key Trends

6 of the last 13 winners were trained by Willie Mullins

18 of the last 22 winners were novices or second-season hurdlers

13 of the last 19 winners used to race on the flat

8 of the past 15 winners have returned at SPs of 20/1 or bigger

The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Race Tips

Sharjah could well be the one here. The nine-year-old has this as his only realistic target this season and we know that he certainly acts on the track. He still has a bit of class about him and as his trainer has shown in the past, he can get the older types right back to their very best for this race. With Winter Fog and Hunters Yarn also in the field, Willie Mullins holds very strong claims here

Selection: BACK SHARJAH E/W @ 8/1 WITH BET365

If you want to find out the best bookmaker promotions, look at our Cheltenham Festival betting offers page.

All odds are correct at the time of writing.

 

 

 

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Analysis of stats

Last ran more than 44 days ago, 7 from 84, LSP 15 points. Remainder 2 from 142, loss 82 points

1st or 2nd last time, 7 from 86, LSP 13 points

This leaves 

PEMBROKE 5/1 - 6 places

PATH D'OROUX 14/1 - 6 places

WINTER FOG 22/1 - 6 places

GIN COCO 17/2 - 6 places

 

 

 

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