Brain Power Can Provide You with Healthy Profits this Season
A top draw card comes our way from Cheltenham this Saturday. The showpiece on the day will be the Unibet International Hurdle, a race of Grade 2 status over two miles. All eyes will be on whether Willie Mullins will hand a seasonal debut to the extremely smart Laurina. The five-year-old star mare finished last season with victories in the Trull House Stud Mare’s Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival followed by the Mare’s Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse. Nobody knows how good Laurina can be and if she was to show up at Cheltenham on Saturday, she will be a very short price. Other potential stories in the International Hurdle script include a potential retirement of the gallant The New One. A former Neptune Novice’s Hurdle (known now as the Ballymore) at the Cheltenham Festival and also a winner of the International Hurdle on three separate occasions. However, this old veteran owes his connections and the public absolutely nothing. Here is to hoping The New One returns to some form. Summerville Boy will return to the scene of his Supreme Novice’s Hurdle victory last March. However, it should be noted that Summerville Boy took a little while to get going last season, taking three runs to record a victory in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle.
The proverbial dark horse in the International Hurdle is Nicky Henderson’s Brain Power. Last seen over hurdles in April 2017, Brain Power could not get his chasing career off the ground due to sloppy jumping errors. On multiple occasions, even when coming up against Un De Sceaux at Ascot last season, Brain Power was extremely well backed. Many punters believed Brain Power could have gone to the top of the two-mile-chasing division last season. Nicky Henderson stated in a Racing Post stable tour interview last season that Brain Power was the only horse on his gallops that could keep up with the natural speed of Bouvair D’air. Needless to say, this is extremely high praise. Brain Power will come into the International Hurdle as a race fit horse, should connections opt to run here following a lacklustre display over fences last time out.
The race conditions are also a benefit to Brian Power. Due to Brain Power failing to score in graded company for over a year, Brain Power is allowed to carry eleven stone (11st 0) whereas the likes of The New One (11st 6), Summerville Boy (11st 3) and Old Guard (11st 6) have to carry penalties. With a hurdles mark of 158, this makes Brain Power attractively weighted on his hurdles return. However, there is a reason why Brain Power can be backed at 14/1 for Saturday’s International Hurdle. One reason being that Brian Power may not be a definite participant. Another option for Nicky Henderson’s seven-year-old is the Ascot Handicap Hurdle on 22nd December. Brian Power was a facile winner of this race off a mark of 149 (when the race was known as the Wessex Youth Trust Handicap Hurdle), a performance which earned him single figure prices for the 2017 Champion Hurdle. We can then look even further down the line, will Brian Power contest another Champion Hurdle? Probably not this season. Could Brian Power run over hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival? That is much more likely. Brian Power is not even quoted at the minute for races such as the County Hurdle at Cheltenham. If Brain Power can rediscover some spark over smaller obstacles, there is every chance that Nicky Henderson may point him at a race like the County Hurdle.
There is no definitive target for Brian Power right now. Betfair and Paddy Power are currently 14/1 about the talented seven-year-old’s chances in the International Hurdle, but one would wonder if that price was too good to be true. Brain Power sits at a general 16/1 chance for a possible engagement at Ascot the week after. Both prices represent value bets if Brain Power was going to be a definite runner, but we do not know that just yet. All that matters is Brain Power returns to hurdling either on Saturday at Cheltenham or the week after at Ascot. I would recommend a 1pt ew bet when Brain Power is declared for either event. The antepost bet for either the International Hurdle or Ascot Handicap Hurdle is a little too risky at this moment in time. However, if Brian Power has a spin over hurdles before Christmas, finding an Antepost price of possibly 25/1 or bigger for the County Hurdle would represent sensational value. Patience is the key with Brain Power here and I am confident he will provide Bet Hub Blog fans with a victory at a decent price this season.