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Sunday’s Racing Tip: Eckhart to send Saphir spinning at Fontwell

We’re getting close, comrades.

There’s less than three weeks until the greatest show on turf kicks off from Cheltenham. I can barely contain myself. A whole season’s work comes down to one week in March. So much pressure. So much exhilaration.

But our focus for the time being remains on the day’s action and there’s a nice little card to get stuck into at Fontwell today.

The highlight on the card is the Grade Two totepool National Spirit Hurdle, a race won by the likes of Celestial Halo and My Way De Solzen in recent years.

Meister Eckhart finished a close second behind Prospect Wells last season before going onto to fill that same spot in the Coral Cup and switched back to hurdling after falling over the fences, he looks a horse to follow today.

We’ve always thought Alan King’s charge will rate better than just a handicapper in time and today should be the day where he brings his A-Game to the table. We think the market has got this match-up wrong by pricing up the selection at 5/2.

Main market rival Saphir Du Rheu, whose trainer Paul Nicholls has won the last two renewals of this race, has been raised 35lbs this season after three straight wins, two in handicaps and one at Ffos Las.

His progression is highlighted by the fact he’s as short as 16/1 for the World Hurdle and the feelings are that if everything stays sound with the horse, he’ll run at Cheltenham.

Strangely though, I’ve never been overly convinced about the horse’s ability to compete at the real top level against a horse with the scope of Meister Eckhart. Last time out he was a tad fortunate to get the better of the Nicky Henderson-trained Whisper at Ffos Las where his rival hit the last when looking likely to go past him.

To me, he looks a horse that should be followed over the fences in time but for today, at the prices, it’s well worth siding with the King runner.

Get on with a four point win stake.

Good luck, comrades.

(Cheltenham ante post book: 2pts West Wizard in Supreme Novices Hurdle 8/1 & 1pts EW Harry Topper in Gold Cup 50/1 & 2pts EW Corrin Wood in RSA Chase 16/1 & 1pt Boston Bob in World Hurdle 11/1 & 2pts Felix Yonger in Arkle Chase)

Profit & Loss Record: Staked: 297pts Returned: 293.62pts P/L: -3.38pts

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