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County Hurdle Tips

Friday 15th March 14:10

The County Hurdle takes place at 2:10pm on day four of the Cheltenham Festival on Friday 15th March 2024. Below you'll find our free betting tips for the County Hurdle from out expert horse racing analyst Will Smith.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Zenta 14/114/1 EW 5 Places (NRNB)
County Hurdle
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 08/03/2024

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (08:00 08/03/2024) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

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Of the last 14 runnings of the County Hurdle, a quite extraordinary 10 of them have been won by either Willie Mullins or Dan Skelton, as Mullins has notched up 6 of them to Skelton’s 4.

Mullins could easily have 7 runners in Friday’s opening handicap, as that many are guaranteed a run in the race following the confirmation stage today, whereas given Knickerbockerglory and Faivoir ran in the Imperial Cup, it seems Skelton is solely relying on Betfair Hurdle 3rd L’Eau Du Sud.

Law of averages suggests that it could easily go to Mullins again, and skimming through his entries further, I feel there’s more than an average chance of him landing it with last year’s Triumph Hurdle 3rd Zenta.

At 14/1 each-way with Bet365 for 5 places, Zenta also holds an entry for Tuesday’s Mares Hurdle, but she clearly has a better winning chance in the County Hurdle, as opposed to probably a midfield finish at best if she went for that tougher Grade 1.

The worry if you’re a backer of Zenta for the County Hurdle is that owner JP McManus doesn’t have any other representatives in the Mares Hurdle, as opposed to a host of chances in the County Hurdle, but I think we know enough about McManus to know that he’s all about winning Cheltenham Festival races, and not just having a social runner!

Last year’s two Friday races over the 2m1f trip on the hurdles track of the New Course are quite telling when it comes to a few of the leading players in Friday’s County Hurdle, over the same course and distance of course.

Zenta in 3rd in the Triumph Hurdle ran a race full of promise on just her second hurdle start for Mullins, and on the clock was extremely closely matched with Faivoir and Pied Piper in the County, and so too (although somewhat less reliable) was the fact that she was closely matched to the run of Magical Zoe (entered here too) in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle the day before.

Given Zenta won a Grade 1 at Aintree on her next start, and massively caught the eye on her return to hurdles at the Dublin Racing Festival, I am of the firm belief that she has improved a huge amount since that day, given she is just a 5-year-old mare.

At 14/1 each-way with Bet365 for 5 places, despite that Mares Hurdle entry, I want to lock in that price now, as surely if she is declared then she’ll be a shorter price come the day.

Closely matched on the bare form with Magical Zoe at Leopardstown last time, the fact that Magical Zoe is seemingly best fresh, and the fact that Zenta made some really eye-catching smooth ground from the rear when the front-runners were quickening that day, means that she was much better than the bare form, and the one who appeals much the most of all the County entrants at the prices at this stage.

County Hurdle
DateTimeDistanceType
Fri 15/03/202414:102m 179yHurdle

The County Hurdle is a Grade 3 National Hunt hurdle race that is run on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, also known as Gold Cup Day.

The race covers a distance of approximately 2 miles and 1 furlong and is open to horses aged five years and older.

The County Hurdle is known for being a highly competitive and unpredictable handicap race, with many horses in contention for the win. It often attracts a large field of runners and the pace can be very fast making for an exciting spectacle for racegoers and viewers.

Trainer W P Mullins has won the County Hurdle 6 times over the last 20 festivals with Thousand Stars (2010), Final Approach (2011), Wicklow Brave (2015), Arctic Fire (2017), Saint Roi (2020) & State Man (2022).

County Hurdle tips from racing analyst Will Smith will appear on this page shortly before the start of the Cheltenham Festival.

County Hurdle Odds

Selection Odds
King Of Kingsfield 13/2
L'eau Du Sud 15/2
Pied Piper 9/1
Magical Zoe 11/1
Absurde 11/1
Bialystok 14/1
Zenta 14/1
Go Dante 14/1
Faivoir 16/1
Impose Toi 16/1
Westport Cove 16/1
Risk Belle 18/1
Ocastle Des Mottes 18/1
So Scottish 18/1
Hansard 22/1
Encanto Bruno 22/1
Quai De Bourbon 25/1
Aucunrisque 28/1
Petit Tonnerre 28/1
Altobelli 33/1
Playful Saint 33/1
Gin Coco 40/1
Ascending 40/1
Afadil 40/1
Panjari 40/1
What's Up Darling 40/1
Bad 50/1
Teddy Blue 50/1
Fils D'Oudairies 50/1
Media Naranja 50/1
Parramount 50/1
Party Central 50/1
Rare Middleton 50/1
Samui 50/1
Sans Bruit 50/1
Knickerbockerglory 66/1
Mr Freedom 66/1
Nibiru 66/1
Norman Fletcher 66/1
By Your Side 80/1
Kihavah 80/1
Jason The Militant 100/1
Moveit Like Minnie 125/1

Previous Tips

2023 Tips [Expired]

Steve Mullington’s County Hurdle Tips

One horse that towers head and shoulders above his rivals in the County Hurdle is Sharjah. He really does look a class above the others with a non-derogatory nod to his fellow competitors.

The ten-year-old is having his second start in a handicap hurdle and the first one just so happened to be the Galway Hurdle which he lifted in 2018.  Trading at 8/1 with most bookmakers, he has to be a really confident each-way punt, especially if you go with one of those paying the extra places.

Also of interest is Anna Bunina who had a nice little warm up for this in a Grade 3 at Punchestown last time. Handicaps are much more her scene and off a mid-range weight and with a claimer on board, I can think of plenty of worse 40/1 shots you could be betting on at The Festival.

Other horses here that look far too big in the betting are Milkwood (25/1) and former Royal Bond scorer Ballyadam (18/1).

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