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Racing News
Monday 9th December 2019
Fakir Overpriced for JLT Novices’ at Cheltenham

The JLT Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival has already proven in its short history to be a race of real importance for the future as well as for the present.

Fakir D’Oudairies
© Racehorse Photos

Fakir D’Oudairies
At two-and-a-half miles around Prestbury Park, it sits at a rather in-between distance you could say but given that many of the horses tasked with running in this event will go on to stay a bit further, it can prove to be a pathway to future glory over three miles which is something past winners Sir Des Champs and Yorkhill have gone on to prove.

This year’s early JLT betting market has taken on a very strange shape however after the recent Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on December 1st, a race won by Joseph O’Brien’s Fakir D’Oudairies by a wide margin after the popular Samcro exited having fallen at the penultimate fence when going well.

Jumping is the Name of the Game

Analysis of the Drinmore, while using some common sense, could well lead us to believe that in pricing up the JLT afterwards, bookmakers have simply got it wrong and it’s certainly something many a shrewd punter heading to find the latest Cheltenham betting offers here at will be keeping in mind.

As the old saying goes in National Hunt racing; jumping is the name of the game and if a horse has any flaws in this department, they are likely to be found out at the highest level regardless of what sort of cruising speed they possess.

So while it’s true that, visually at least, Samcro looked to be getting to and potentially on top of Fakir D’Oudairies at Fairyhouse before departing the race, his main rival was in fact taking a length out of him at every obstacle due to his superior jumping and that can count for plenty on the run-in with more energy having been saved.

While many pundits think Samcro would have gone on to win that day, how can they know for sure?  Let’s deal with the facts, rather than opinion.  Fakir went off favourite and was very well fancied, he stood up all the way round, saw the race out well and having been left alone won so easily that we’ll never know how much he would have found off the bridle had he entered a long, drawn-out battle with Samcro up the straight.
While he was in receipt of weight that day, Fakir D’Oudairies is a very inexperienced horse with plenty of improvement to come and he’s one who now has won a Grade 1 chase victory to his name.  It’s strange then that bookmakers saw fit to actually shrink Samcro in price for the JLT to as short as 4/1 in places, while Fakir D’Oudairies is available as big as 14/1.

The most startling gap is with Coral who go 5/1 Samcro and 14’s Fakir, while it seems Paddy Power know the score going 6/1 Samcro and just 10/1 about Fakir D’oudairies.

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