I love hype. Hype generates great value on runners that are able to avoid it and avoid it MOURAD has in preparation for this afternoon's 5.30PM Ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle (Grade 1).
Initially I felt that the heaviest ground imaginable would make for an impossible betting mission, but fresh ground has been made available and conditons have been deemed raceable on the hurdles track.
Mourad did not run to his best at Cheltenham when finishing down the field in the World Hurdle in 6th place, but the ground was riding quick that day and there is no doubt that Mourad prefers the going to be soft or heavy.
A very quick look at his career to date shows that from 22 outings he has been placed in the first 3 no fewer than 18 times! 6 of these have been in 1st place with 7 runs resulting in a 2nd placed finish.
A closer analysis also illustrates his love for heavy ground with one run on the flat in these conditions yielding one win. Over hurdles he has also won three of his four starts and come 2nd on the only occasion he has been defeated in the mud.
A return to poor ground will not be in Quevega's favour, though her class should see her run well. Voler La Vedette has noticeably improved this season and will post a serious threat to all runners. However, with 10-1 readily still available on the exchanges, there is a chance Mourad can improve enough to win back on his favoured ground. Being only 7, he is entitled to improve and is not without a chance of running a very solid race and finishing in the first 2.
THE BET: Mourad @ 21-2 Betfair (TO WIN)
Adding a small bet to place at EVENS (first 3) to cover win bet stakes.