5s the field. Six places each-way. One of the week’s great handicap prizes.

County Hurdle 2023 Tips

  • Pembroke each-way – 8/1
  • Gin Coco each-way – 17/2
  • Wonderwall each-way – 16/1

The very definition of white-hot competition. Winning a County Hurdle is special, with in all likelihood a maximum field of 26, and more plots and twists than your favourite soap. High-class entrants rub shoulders with the 10st-not-a-lot hopefuls. Yes please ..

History tells us that you don’t want to be carrying much more than 11st if you’re to win this – and preferably less. The classy pair Sharjah and Pied Piper carry 12st and 11st 12lb respectively, and I’m afraid that tempers my enthusiasm for them. ‘Piper’ loves it round here, and I’m loathe to desert him!

One with a glorious racing weight however is Pembroke, for the Skeltons (10st 9lb). Has shown progressive form in minor events, and got a look at this great course when finishing a tidy second in a Grade 2 in January. This looks to have been the plan, and I’m hopeful of a huge run.

Another I like is Harry Fry’s Gin Coco. Has an absence to overcome but ran a cracker when last seen here in November in the Greatwood. Carries a pound less that Pembroke and should be competitive, if cherry-ripe.

Wonderwall is a son of the great Flat stayer Yeats, and is another with ability that’s handily weighted on 10st 7lb. Sean Bowen rides, though brother James has been in the saddle every time previously. A thorough debrief will aid his chance, and he’s had a rest since running well in a warm heat at Newbury in November.

I’ve sided with three each-way fancies very much the right side of 11st, and for whom this has probably been the plan for some time. Fingers crossed that they all get competitive, and occupy some of those first six places. A terrific race is in prospect.

Don’t be surprised to see a dozen in contention at the last!

Selections – Pembroke each-way, Gin Coco each-way, Wonderwall each-way.

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