Past Winners » Ted Veale


I am also backing Ted Veale, now that he has got into the race on a lovely racing weight of 10st 6lb.

Tony Martin’s horse has a lot in his favour in the context of this race. For starters, he fits just about all the trends. He is trained in Ireland (like five of the last six winners), he is rated in the 130s (like the last seven winners), he is a first or second-season hurdler (like eight of the last nine winners), and his last run was in the Boylesports Hurdle, which has proved to be one of the best guides to this race in recent years.

More than just fitting the trends, however, there is a lot to like about Tony Martin’s horse. Winner of his maiden hurdle at Listowel on his debut over hurdles in September, he has been progressing nicely as a novice, and he ran a cracker to give Sizing Rio a fright in a Grade 3 contest at Navan in November on his penultimate run.

He made his handicap debut in the Boylesports Hurdle on his most recent run, and he ran a cracker to finish third behind Abbey Lane. He improved nicely on the run to the final flight and looked like he would play a hand in the finish, but he just couldn’t match the winner’s finishing surge in fairly attritional conditions.

He raced off an Irish mark of 130 that day, so a British mark of 134 is more than fair. Also, that was just his fifth run over hurdles, he should improve for the experience, and you can be sure that, as a Tony Martin representative, even though he was well backed for the Boylesports, he will have been trained to peak today. The trainer is obviously in fine form, and he will be ridden by Bryan Cooper, whose confidence should be sky high after yesterday. 12/1 is too big.

TED VEALE WON (ADV 12/1, SP 10/1)